BIG SCREENS FOR RUFARO While giving the state of the city address on Wednesday, Mayor Mafume said council was still in negotiations with Zesa and Ministry of Finance to reinstate a combined billing system. 

Petros Kausiyo

IT will be a double delight for the fans who will converge at Rufaro for Sunday’s potentially explosive Castle Lager Premier Soccer League derby showdown between CAPS United and Dynamos. 

This is because, the stadium owners, Harare City Council have installed television screens that will enable the fans to also watch the English Premier League’s title-deciding matches, which will be beamed soon after the end of the CAPS United against Dynamos match. 

Dubbed the Super Sunday in the EPL, the matches will pit defending champions Manchester City, with 88 points against West Ham at Etihad while title rivals Arsenal welcome Everton on 86 points at Emirates.

The domestic derby kicks off at 3pm with the EPL title deciders getting underway two hours later. 

Crucially, the EPL matches will start on or about 15 minutes after the end of the CAPS United against Dynamos showdown, which would have somewhat left some fans torn between the two leagues’ big games. 

Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume said yesterday they had decided to provide television screens, bar, and catering for those seeking to watch the English matches after being served with the Castle Lager derby dish. 

Mafume said Harare City workers had up-scaled their work in the on-going refurbishment of Rufaro for use by domestic football. 

He said that as much as they had cast one eye on the EPL games, they were also not relenting on the efforts to try and modernise Rufaro. 

“We are fully preparing for the Harare derby and we also know that in the sporting calendar, this Sunday is going to be an important day in the English Premier League. 

“So, what we have done is that we have put TV screens inside Rufaro stadium by the kiosks where just soon after the derby is finished, TVs will be mounted and people can watch the decider of the EPL. 

“It means they don’t have to rush out of Rufaro or be caught in the traffic jam trying to catch up with what will be happening the EPL. 

“They will be able to watch the proceedings of the Premier League soon after the final whistle here at Rufaro,’’ Mafume said.

Mafume said the installation of the TV screens was the art of the grand scheme the municipality has of sprucing Rufaro. 

“As I indicated earlier, Rufaro is going to be a multiplex, it is going to be a double whammy on Sunday, it is going to have beer gardens, it is going to have big screens for soccer both for international and local.

“It is going to be a go-to centre and one-stop shop it is going to be a sports village and a sports village must be able to deal with both local and international sport’’. 

Mafume said part of their long-term plans was to ensure that Rufaro does resemble some form of cemetery that is dormant on weekdays and only witness activity on Saturdays and Sundays. 

“Beyond the derby, the long-term plan is constructing sports bars here at Rufaro, we are going to have big screens, it has got to be a seven-day facility and not a weekend facility. 

“We want to it be a place where it can be a family fun day, we are thinking of having entertainment and we are buying state of an art sound system for that purpose. 

“We are also going to ask entertainers to come in and perform and create a fun day, we are going to create what we want to call a Rufaro experience so that even if you are touring from the provinces and other parts of the country, you will be able to come and leave with some memorabilia and also with a huge experience at Rufaro, the photo experience and the kinds of things you will find at an international stadium’’. 

Mafume said his city would also engage with the PSL chiefs to have youth and women football allowed to come in as part of the curtain raiser programme.

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