Congestion of fixtures and overuse of the National Sports Stadium will likely be story of the upcoming Premier Soccer League (PSL) season, amid revelations that the giant facility will host four matches within three days on match day one.
The 2023 season starts this weekend, but a stadiums crisis looms, as only six stadiums —National Sports Stadium, Babourfields, Mandava, Baobab, Gibbo and Luveve —are fit to host the country’s top-flight games.
The Harare City Council assured football fans that Rufaro Stadium would be ready before the start of the PSL season but the ‘Ceremonial Home of Football’ is still being renovated and not yet ready.
It is the National Sports Stadium which will be hit hard by the crisis, as it will be home to at least seven clubs.
Apart from the six clubs based in Harare who use the 60 000-seater facility —Dynamos, CAPS United, Herentals, Black Rhinos, Yadah and Cranborne Bullets, new boys Simba Bhora will also use it temporarily, until their intended venue —Wadzanai Stadium in Shamva, is renovated to meet PSL standards.
On Saturday, Simba will host defending champions FC Platinum at the giant facility, before CAPS United host Manica Diamonds at the same venue on Sunday.
The National Sports Stadium will then host two matches on Monday, when Yadah welcome new boys GreenFuel at 12pm, before army sides Cranborne Bullets and Black Rhinos clash at 3pm.
Gweru-based newcomers Sheasham will temple share Mandava with FC Platinum, as renovations continue at their home ground Bata, while GreenFuel and Triangle will temporarily share Gibbo.
For the visit of Dynamos on Saturday, Hwange will have to use Babourfields as their home ground —The Colliery, did not pass the PSL inspection.