By Clive Makumbe
The Castle Premier Soccer League Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Ndebele (pictured) has condemned Ascot stadium citing it as unfit to host league matches following First Instance Board’s recommendations to the country’s football governing body.
“We need the basic standards followed by the council to reinstate premiership football in Gweru and everything should be working (doping room, toilets, changing room, media stands).
A couple years ago we had a disturbing story when the goal post collapsed and the match had to be abandoned to find a wielder on a Sunday, which is embarrassing,” he said.
Speaking during a tour of Ascot stadium, Ndebele said standards are lagging behind compared to other venues in the country such as Mandava, Rufaro and Babourfields and that urgent attention is needed on public toilets to prevent cholera or typhoid outbreak.
“Council needs to take drastic measures to improve their standards to bring more fans and sponsorship because football is now a business. If you look at the stadium it is in bad condition since the pitch is not level. Basic standards are crucial before the board gives the green light.
Visit the public toilets, they are totally unbearable, public toilets should be working again such that we do not suspend matches on the basis that there is typhoid and cholera outbreak.
GCC Director for housing, Shingirayi Tigere said the rehabilitation of Ascot Stadium is underway to meet the standards of the Castle Premier Soccer league.
“Efforts are underway to upgrade through refurbishing of 2 VIP stands, 2 VIP toilets, cladded tunnel, general stands, media stands and doping rooms to match required Castle Premier Soccer league standards.
In the next two weeks the whole changing room changing room will be complete. WIFI facilities will be installed by Telone but we have also put in our requests off cladded tunnel to our partners.
Our facility now has female change rooms and ablution facilities considering the fact that soccer is no longer a preserve for men only. Efforts are also underway to look at establishing modern media stands that will be user friendly for our media partners during matches at Ascot Stadium,” he said.
Gweru City Council has budgeted $300,000 towards the Ascot stadium project, which will be allocated at different intervals owing to the economic environment until the refurbishment process is complete.
Chapungu and the just promoted side TelOne will resort to Mandava stadium until ZIFA approves the stadium.
According to a memo copied to Premier Soccer League stakeholders by Zifa, there are only nine approved stadiums namely Rufaro, National Sports Stadium, Barbourfields, Luveve, Colliery, Gibbo, Nyamhunga, Mandava and Baobab leaving a number of clubs traveling long distances for matches