Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

DeMbare pushing for a return to their ‘home ground’ of Rufaro Stadium

Harare giants Dynamos FC are keenly pushing for a return to their traditional home ground of Rufaro Stadium in Mbare, Nehanda Radio has learnt.

According to a source privy to the development, DeMbare wrote a letter to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) appealing to re-use the 35 000 capacity stadium for all their remaining league fixtures of the on-going 2021/22 campaign which is however nearing its end with only two matches left to close the curtain.

However, their effort reportedly hit a brick wall after the country’s football governing body, ZIFA held its ground insisting the venue should at least meet minimum standards that are suitable to host premier league matches.

Rufaro which last hosted top flight games in 2019 prior to the covid-19 pandemic that once forced the suspension of football activities in the country, was banned by ZIFA from hosting elite league matches following its dilapidation in recent years.

Nonetheless, a comment could not be obtained from DeMbare after the club’s chairman Isiah Mupfurutsa did not respond to messages sent to him at the time of publishing the article.

The venue (Rufaro) is DeMbare’s traditional home stadium which agreeably holds much memories of their history success in the local premiership.

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Over the weekend Dynamos and Highlanders played to a goalless draw at National Sports Stadium in Harare in Sunday’s Castle Lager Premiership Matchday 32 encounter.

In March this year the Harare City Council (HCC) said it would not lease Rufaro Stadium to Dynamos after the municipality decided against giving control of the venue to one club.

DeMbare with the backing of their main sponsor Sakunda Holdings had wanted to lease the stadium on a long term basis but the council appears more interested in partnering with corporates in upgrading the ground in exchange for naming rights.

The then HCC spokesperson, Michael Chideme explained their reasoning in an interview.

“It’s very clear here, as a council, we are saying we have only three football stadiums, that is Rufaro, Gwanzura and Dzivarasekwa. If we can lease these stadiums to only three clubs for example, where will the other teams play?

“These clubs are coming through some companies and we are saying those companies should come directly to us (for partnerships).

“Those companies should come and discuss with us so that if they are to spruce up the stadiums, they will do so to the benefit of everyone because look, it is not only the supporters of one team who buy from a certain company. So we are saying those partnerships should benefit everyone in a way.

“It will be in the best interest of these companies to benefit the whole community. Besides, these stadiums are what we also use, as council, as collateral when we want to borrow money from different organisations. If we give away our collateral, it means we are shooting ourselves in the foot, so to say.” Chideme added.