Sheasham pour US$500k on Bata Stadium refurbishment
Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
CASTLE Lager Premier Soccer League side Sheasham have parted with more than US$500 000 in the rehabilitation of Bata Stadium, including erecting a water recycling plant at the venue.
The Gweru club are pressing for the clearance of the facility to host Premiership matches following a contentious ban by the PSL which has since torched a storm.
The PSL suspended the use of Bata Stadium for top-flight matches last week despite the venue having been certified fit by the grounds inspection authority, the ZIFA First Instance Board.
That prompted Sheasham to miss their home match against CAPS United that was scheduled for Mandava last week citing inconvenience and logistical issues.
The new boys will be hoping that PSL will change their stance and allow them their next home match against Herentals at Bata next weekend.
The Construction Boys yesterday played away at Gibbo where they collected an important point against Triangle following a goalless draw.
The club have since invited the FIB to revisit Bata Stadium this week to assess areas they had indicated needed some attention in their previous tour.
The areas include sitting bays, changing rooms and car park paving.
Addressing journalists during a media tour of the venue last Friday, Sheasham vice-president Happiness Dziva said the team has funded the rehabilitation of this facility to the tune of US$500 000.
“We have a long lease for this venue (Bata Stadium). We have had to invest in it to ensure that it meets the minimum requirements for it to host Premiership matches,” said Dziva.
“There are three phases to the development of this facility. The first one is what we have done so far. We have generally ticked most of the boxes as per what the FIB had instructed us before we started the refurbishment.
“We have sunk a borehole and also established a water recycling plant to enhance drainage.
“What it means is that the ground will never run out of water as we have an option to recycle the same water over and over again that is if the borehole ever runs dry which is unlikely in any case.
“So far, in this first phase we have used over US$500 000.
“That includes the final touch-ups which we are doing as per the FIB recommendations. We are laying quarry stones on the car parks and also finalising the erection of VIP sheds either side of the VVIP bay.
“We are hoping and praying that we can be allowed to play our home matches at Bata starting with our next home assignment against Herentals”.
Sheasham managed to host one of the most supported clubs in the country- Highlanders three weeks ago with more than 7800 people making their way to the venue and there was no crowd trouble.
The facility has a carrying capacity of 8000 people.
Meanwhile, coach John Nyikadzino is praying that his team will be given a chance to face off against CAPS United.
Makepekepe would be expecting to be handed the points on a 3-0 scoreline since they travelled all the way to Zvishavane only for a no-show by Sheasham last week.
But the unique circumstances surrounding the boycott by Sheasham could make the outcome unpredictable.
The PSL have already written to the Gweru team to submit a comprehensive report explaining why they didn’t pitch up for the game against CAPS United.
“For the technical team and the players, it (not playing CAPS United) was very emotional,” Nyikadzino said.
“I am not qualified to comment on administrative issues. But I am hopeful that we will be given the opportunity to play CAPS United at home.
“My players will also be happy. You know, for us, every point counts as we need to achieve our season objectives”.
Results at a glance
CAPS United 1-1 Simba Bhora; Triangle United 0-0 Sheasham; Highlanders 1-1 Green Fuel; Ngezi Platinum 2-1 Dynamos
Black Rhinos 0-1 FC Platinum; Bulawayo Chiefs 1-1 Cranborne Bullets; Manica Diamonds 0-1 Yadah
Thursday: Herentals 1-2 Hwange