During the ‘It’s time to make Zimbabwean Football exciting again’ indaba held in Harare last week, a Dynamos official confidently told Stan Matthews that the Harare giants are supported by nearly half of Zimbabwe’s population.
“I don’t know presently, but when the last (population) census was held, we had seven million fans,” the official told the Supersport United Chief Executive Officer.
Whether Dynamos supporters throughout the country and outside can even surpass 1 million is something that is very difficult to believe but what is not up for debate is the fact DeMbare is one of, if not the most supported team in the country.
Now that it’s no longer a secret that Dynamos will be temporarily using Babourfields as their temporary home venue when the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League resumes next week, the move has generated a lot of debate among football stakeholders.
“This is like using your ex girlfriend’s place as a base,” argued one Tapiwa Munjoma, on microblogging site Twitter, in reaction to the news.
The Dynamos executive however believes the move is a no-brainer.
“If you look at how Kaizer Chiefs operate in South Africa, they can host a home match in any city in, because they have fans everywhere, and the same applies with us,” a well-placed source in the Moses Maunganidze-led executive told Soccer24 yesterday.
“We also command a huge following in Bulawayo so why not? We will use Babourfields until Rufaro is ready,” added the source
Dynamos fans always show up at Babourfields, especially when they collide with old foes Highlanders.
They also showed up in their numbers at Emagumeni when they demolished Chicken Inn 3-0 last season and burst into song on ‘enemy territory’ after the final whistle.
The bottom line is; DeMbare fans always show up at Babourfields, but is that the only fact to take into account.
The biggest disadvantage of using Babourfields is that the team has to travel 439 kilometers to fulfil every home match and that will be a problem as far as the players’ physical condition in concerned.
The Dynamos official who used the Kaizer Chiefs example did so not taking into consideration that the Soweto giants don’t travel by road to fulfil a home match at the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban for instance.
The fact that players have to travel long distances for both home and away games might turn out to be problematic for a team seeking to end its 8-year wait for the championship.