HomeSportSakubva renovations: Still not satisfactory

Sakubva renovations: Still not satisfactory

Children and adult football fans, including Mutare municipal workers, could be seen running all over with empty bins, brooms and plates hollowing out water from the pitch on that chilly afternoon.

Elsewhere on the pitch, two small boys had 10 and 5kg packets of roller meal which was used to mark demarcation lines on the pitch moments before the game.

The Zifa grounds committee, led by Premier Soccer League chairman Twine Phiri, had just visited  Mutare where they had inspected the venue and given thumps up to the playing field.

Among other renovations, the perimetre fence has been improved while according to the PSL report, the bumpy and uneven pitch was levelled.

Despite the compacting and rolling that has been done, the drainage system remains a thorny issue.

PSL chief executive officer Kenny Ndebele admitted they have challenges on drainage systems at match venues.

“We have a big problem when it comes to drainage systems at a number of stadia in this country. Major stadia like Barbourfields and the National Sports Stadium also have poor drainage. The inspection in Mutare was not for water or drainage systems. That is why we play our matches in a rain-free season. The grounds committee approved the venue because the responsible authorities had done some of the recommended renovations such as rolling, dressing rooms and the perimetre fence. They also measured goal posts, perimeter and other aspects that make it eligible to host PSL matches,” Ndebele said.

Ndebele added that PSL has a long-term plan for drainage issues.

Last year Motor Action faced similar problems when they played Zimbabwe Saints in the Mbada Diamonds Cup preliminary round at the same venue.

Other recommendations that were made by the grounds committee, which the venue is still to undergo, are that the connections for watering the turf on the northern side along the touchline be covered as it poses a danger to players.

Six small gates have to be erected around the pitch perimetre fence for crowd control during disturbances.

Drainage vents around the track must be covered as they also pose a danger to players and officials.

There are some missing tiles in dressing rooms which are supposed to be fitted together with ensuring a supply of running water in dressing rooms.

Mutare City Council deputy director of Housing and Community Services, Author Chinaka believes the council has done enough in sprucing up the image of the stadium.

“We have done our best at Sakubva but the venue is prone to abuse by musical outfits and other activities which destroy the turf,” he said.

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