Soccer News

Premier Soccer League action finally returns to Rufaro Stadium

The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) First Instance Board (FIB), responsible for examining stadiums to ensure they meet minimum standards, has temporarily homologated Rufaro Stadium in Harare.

Homologation refers to the process of officially approving a sports venue, ensuring it meets specific standards set by governing bodies.

Following this latest development, the stadium will host an official football match for the first time since 2019.

CAPS United host newcomers Bikita Minerals in a Week 3 fixture of the 2024 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League at the venue this Thursday.

ZIFA FIB chairman Sharif Mussa and his team conducted the final inspection at the Mbare venue on Wednesday, 27 March.

Mussa told The Herald that the owners of Rufaro Stadium (Harare City Council) must address certain issues; failure to do so may lead to the stadium being banned. He said:

We went to Rufaro today (yesterday), and we did our inspection based on previous inspections after having left them with a snag list of things to sort out, we have now seen remarkable improvement, and they have done a splendid job in trying to work.

The mayor and the relevant people have done a great job in moving towards great achievement.

So, we have decided that we will temporarily homologate Rufaro immediately.

There’s a bit of things they have to do. We have given them another snag list which they will work on and we will be monitoring it regularly to see that they maintain the work and the effort, and they get better at it.

If we see complacency and they don’t work on anything then we will have to temporarily hold the homologation.

Premier Soccer League chairman Farai Jere believes that the venue, which is located in a high-density suburb, can attract huge crowds. He said:

It’s exciting times for the Premier Soccer League. We all know Rufaro is the ceremonial home of football and we have all been missing the facility.

We expect the attendance figures to boost because Rufaro has a pulling power thanks to its centrality.

It’s an interesting period because we also have the Easter bumper fixture which has some exciting matchups.

The last Premier Soccer League match at Rufaro Stadium was the goalless draw between Harare City and Ngezi Platinum Stars on December 14, 2019.

Harare had only one stadium that was available for PSL matches during the 2023 season, that is, the National Sports Stadium.

During the 2023 season, when the National Sports Stadium was unexpectedly closed, Dynamos and CAPS United, both Harare-based teams, made the unprecedented move to shift their home base to Barbourfields. Meanwhile, other teams relocated to Kariba, Mhondoro, and Zvishavane.

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