Independence Cup  match venue ready

Ray Bande in Mutare

MURAMBINDA B High School football pitch is now in a good shape to host the 44th Uhuru Cup, pitting giants, Dynamos and Highlanders next Thursday.

The construction work is well ahead of schedule, with final touches being put on the changing rooms, while construction of the terraces on two ends is still in progress.

Workmen were also compacting the surface and applying top dressing fertiliser to the turf, following which it will be watered and compacted again in readiness for the Battle of Zimbabwe.

The official handover-takeover of hosting of the annual event from Mashonaland Central to Manicaland will be marked by a soccer match pitting two top-flight clubs from the two provinces.

Manica Diamonds will lock horns with Simba Bhora from Mashonaland Central on Wednesday at Murambinda A Primary School Ground, which will serve as a befitting precursor to the Battle of Zimbabwe the following day at the main venue.

Mashonaland Central hosted the national event last year.

According to the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) coordinator for Manicaland, Shupikai Berejena, all is set for the historical football encounter – the first of its magnitude to be hosted in the largely communal district of Buhera.

On the progress made so far on the match venue, Berejena said goalposts were installed yesterday, with markings, dugouts and trimming of the turf expected between today and tomorrow.

Berejena said terracing of the ground should be complete by tomorrow.

 “We are well ahead of the schedule in terms of the construction work of the stadium which is the venue of the 44th Uhuru Cup. 

“The installation of goalposts, markings and dugouts were expected to be complete yesterday (Thursday) as well as well as the trimming of the turf. We are looking forward to completing the terracing of the stadium tomorrow (Saturday).

“The inside plastering of the changing rooms, ceilings and tubing are currently ongoing, and we expect all the required furniture to be in situ tomorrow (Saturday). We have no doubt that we will meet the set standards for this high profile match,” said Berejena.

Berejena said the Manica Diamonds and Simba Bhora match will not be played at the same venue where giants Dynamos and Highlanders will clash during the Independence Day commemorations.

“We will have Manica Diamonds and Simba Bhora clashing at Murambinda A Primary School Ground on the eve of the Independence Day celebrations, as part of the President’s Children’s Party. 

“The significance of this match between Simba Bhora and Manica Diamonds is to mark the official handover and takeover of the hosting of the national event from last year’s hosts, Mashonaland Central to this year’s hosts, Manicaland,” he said.

Last year, Highlanders and Dynamos squared off in Bindura for the first time in history and Bosso prevailed 5-3 on penalties.

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