Premier Soccer League Suspends Use of Rufaro Stadium Pending Inspection

April 3, 2024
Rufaro Stadium | Report Focus News
Rufaro Stadium

Harare, Zimbabwe – The Premier Soccer League (PSL) has announced a temporary suspension of Rufaro Stadium’s hosting privileges, awaiting further inspection by the Zimbabwe Football Association’s (ZIFA) First Instance Board (FIB). This decision comes after the stadium, inactive since 2019, was recently reopened and hosted four matches, including the highly anticipated face-off between CAPS United and Bikita Minerals last Thursday.

Rufaro Stadium’s comeback was short-lived as it encountered operational hiccups during the Easter weekend matches, which featured teams such as Yadah vs. Dynamos, CAPS United vs. Arenel Movers, and Herentals vs. FC Platinum. The PSL has expressed concerns over the stadium’s facilities, particularly the malfunctioning turnstiles, which led to significant entry delays and long queues during the games.

Kudzai Bare, spokesperson for the PSL, emphasized that the initial approval for Rufaro Stadium was provisional. “The homologation was temporary, and the stadium was set for re-inspection by the FIB,” Bare stated to the State media. The urgent need for repairs, especially to the turnstiles, has put the stadium’s readiness for upcoming matches in question, prompting its removal from the Week 5 schedule of the league.

This unexpected turn of events has left teams like Dynamos in search of an alternative venue, as they prepare to face the Bulawayo Chiefs. Meanwhile, Yadah holds out hope that their Heart Stadium will pass inspection and serve as a suitable venue for future games.

The suspension of Rufaro Stadium has sparked controversy, with football analyst Solomon Manganyi accusing the PSL and its chairman, Farai Jere, of favoritism and corruption. Manganyi pointed out that the scheduling of matches appeared to disproportionately benefit certain teams, including CAPS United, which is associated with Jere. “Now I understand what the PSL Chairman [Farai Jere] meant by saying they fixed the fixtures in favour of certain teams,” Manganyi wrote on social media platform X.

The PSL and ZIFA’s FIB are yet to respond to these allegations. As the situation unfolds, the football community awaits further developments regarding the stadium’s inspection and the implications for teams relying on Rufaro Stadium for their home games.