By Eddie Chikamhi
Dynamos chairman, Isaiah Mupfurutsa, yesterday said they had to avert a potential disaster at Rufaro on Sunday by delaying the match against traditional rivals CAPS United after the Derby attracted a huge crowd.
The game, which ended in a 1-1 stalemate, started 15 minutes late as supporters were getting restless outside the stadium with long queues still witnessed by kick-off time.
The bumper crowd could have caught the home team, Dynamos, by surprise.
DeMbare have been struggling to attract fans to the stadium, of late, due to the dropping standards in the quality of their game.
But, on Sunday, many supporters, most of whom had bought pre-match tickets via the Ecocash platform, complained of slow pace at the entrance points.
And, there were fears the situation could degenerate into chaos.
However, Mupfurutsa said the pre-match tickets are still the way to go and attributed the inefficiency at the gates to a system breakdown that was experienced by Econet the previous day.
“The pre-match ticket is the way to go because it takes away the pressure on the match day.
”Many people are finding it difficult to access cash and mobile money is a huge relief.
“It’s unfortunate there were challenges encountered because of a system breakdown experienced with the mobile network provider on Saturday.
“Many people had to scramble for tickets on the match day and you could see that the system was slow, probably because it was still recovering, and this impacted on the efficiency at the gates.
“However, a consideration had to be made just before the kick-off because there were still many people queuing up outside. We had to avert disaster, possibly a stampede, so the match had to be delayed a bit.
“All the same, the attendance was very good. Our team is still trying to compile the figures,” said Mupfurutsa.
The fans created a carnival atmosphere synonymous with the yesteryear Derbies and the players responded with a good show.
“For starters, this was a Derby and such games usually have a natural appeal to draw people to the stadium.
”We are grateful to the media for publicising this game and we also had a lot of activity on the social media which helped enhance the appeal of this game.
“And, to spice up the event, we promised our supporters that we will give everyone who comes to the stadium a flag and we did that, that’s why you saw the ground painted blue.
“But, we also made the decision not to increase the gate charges, unlike in the past and people responded well to that. The feedback that we are getting from our supporters from across the country is that they were generally happy with the arrangements.
“We had wanted to have our juniors and reserve teams playing as curtain raisers for our matches but the stadium owners shot down the idea because they feel the turf would have suffered from over use since it is hosting a lot of Premiership games.”
Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya was impressed by his team’s fighting spirit after taking home a point from this tense duel.
Simba Nhivi cancelled out Joel Ngodzo’s 43rd minute lead with a header late in the first half.
“Of course, we wanted to collect maximum points because we were playing at home but, look, this was not an ordinary match.
”It was a derby, a huge match for that matter and for us to get a point against a very strong Caps United, I take it,” said Ndiraya. The Chronicle