US$100 000 needed for Mandava upgrade

30 Sep, 2020 - 00:09 0 Views
US$100 000 needed for Mandava upgrade Mandava Stadium

The Herald

Tadious Manyepo

Sports Reporter

FC PLATINUM, through the Zvishavane Town Council, have appealed to the Government to help address the flaws at Mandava.

The club have been forced to play their Champions League matches away from their home ground.

Although the Zvishavane authorities, with the help of Mimosa Mining Company, have made significant improvements to the facility, the major sticking point, which CAF experts have flagged, remains the floodlights which need about US$100 000.

“The issue of floodlights has always been raised by CAF inspectors. In fact, that is where the main problem is, as far as Mandava Stadium is concerned,” said club spokesperson, Chido Chizondo.

“The authorities have since appealed to the Government to chip in and help in addressing that challenge.

“Approximately US$100 000 is needed to complete that phase. As a club, we always want to enjoy home advantage whenever we play in the CAF Champions League but, due to this situation, we are always forced to use Barbourfields most of the time.

“Most of our fans stay in Zvishavane and they usually fail to travel to Bulawayo for our home games, a situation which has always worked against us.

“Even the players feel very motivated playing in front of a capacity venue with predominantly their fans rooting for them.

“So, the authorities here have talked to the Government to possibly come to the rescue.”

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, chaired by Mathias Tongofa, was recently on a countrywide tour of stadia.

They held lengthy discussions with Zvishavane Town Council’s director of housing and community needs, Nhlanhla Ngwenya, on the state of the stadium.

Mandava, Barbourfields and the National Sports Stadium were condemned by CAF inspectors from hosting international matches early this year.

The CAF experts are scheduled to return for another round of inspections before November.

“As it stands, we are resigned to using either Barbourfields or the National Sports Stadium for our home games in the CAF Champions League,’’ said Chizondo.

“But, we are hoping that the Government will help us in addressing the issues we have at Mandava.

“The issue of floodlights is the major sticking point and once it is addressed we will be good to go.

“We have addressed all other things which CAF pointed out.”

The Government has helped the Bulawayo City Council with funding towards the renovation of Barbourfields.

Funds have also been injected into the renovation of the National Sports Stadium and Sakubva.

FC Platinum are yet to get clearance to start group training sessions.

“We are still waiting for the response from the authorities. We are willing to participate in the CAF Champions League but, for almost five months, we have not been training as a team.

“We are hoping that the authorities will allow us to start group training so that we prepare for the CAF Champions League games.”

The team have since lost one of their best players, Last Jesi, who was on loan from Manica Diamonds.

Jesi has joined Sudanese giants Al Hilal.

The club might also lose another prized asset, Silas Songani, who is undergoing trials at Al Hilal.

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