Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
THE Premier Soccer League has urged local authorities to make efforts to improve the state of stadia drainage systems as the rainy season begins.
Despite the league being at its penultimate stage, PSL chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele said they are worried that poor drainage systems could affect matches as the battle for the championship and survival hots up.
The PSL recently announced that in the spirit of fair play the remaining three rounds of matches involving championship contenders and relegation threatened teams would be played at the same time and any disruption would mean change of times.
“We are worried about the state of drainage systems as the rainy season begins. We wouldn’t want any disruptions as we approach the final stages of the league. We have resolved that if any match is abandoned due to any reason including a waterlogged pitch it will be played the following morning at 10 am.
“However, with matches involving teams in the championship battle being scheduled at the same time we don’t want any match to be postponed as it might cause us headaches,” said Ndebele.
He said the best local authorities could do at the moment was to have pumps and fire tenders on standby to drain water should any pitch be water logged.
Ndebele said they would be engaging the Zifa Licensing Committee, First Instance Body, to urge locals authorities to close stadiums for the coming next two months and rectify the drainage problem that has been an issue for the past five years with little success in fixing it.
A match involving Chicken Inn and ZPC Kariba at Nyamhunga Stadium a fortnight ago (28 October) had to be moved to the following morning due to a flooded pitch.
Ndebele said they had experienced the problems at Nyamhunga and Ascot Stadium but there was a general need to ensure all stadia have good drainage systems.
He said they are yet to see the state of the revamped Rufaro and Mandava stadiums which both saw new turf being installed at the beginning of the year.
Four teams are still in the battle for the championship with Ngezi Platinum Stars at the summit of the log although they are tied on 63 points with FC Platinum and are separated by goal difference, Dynamos, on third position, are two points behind fourth placed Chicken Inn who sit on 59 points.
Ngezi lock horns with Chicken Inn on Wednesday at Boabab Stadium when league action resumes in a match that has vital implications for both sides, a loss for either team could be a huge dent in the title aspirations, with the Gamecocks facing certain elimination from the championship chase if they lose.
FC Platinum are up against already out of the league Tsholotsho at Dulivhadzimu while Dynamos take on relegation threatened Bulawayo City at Barbourfields.
With Bantu Rovers and Tsholotsho having already been confirmed demoted seven teams, Shabanie Mine, Hwange, Bulawayo City, Harare City, Yadah, Black Rhinos and Chapungu are left fighting to escape the dreaded axe.
Remaining PSL fixtures
Matchday 32, Wednesday, November 14: Bulawayo City v Dynamos (Barbourfields), Ngezi Platinum v Chicken Inn (Baobab), ZPC Kariba v Triangle United (Nyamhunga), Harare City v Black Rhinos (Rufaro), Chapungu v Bantu Rovers (Ascot), Tsholotsho FC v FC Platinum (Dulivhadzimo), Caps United v Yadah FC (National Sports Stadium), Shabanie Mine v Hwange (Maglas)
Thursday, November 15: Highlanders v How Mine (Barbourfields)
Matchday 33, Saturday, November 18: FC Platinum v Ngezi Platinum (Mandava), Chicken Inn v Chapungu (Luveve), Bantu Rovers v Dynamos (Barbourfields)
Sunday, November 19: Caps United v Bulawayo City (National Sports Stadium), Yadah FC v Highlanders (Rufaro), How Mine v Shabanie Mine (Luveve), Hwange v Harare City (Colliery), Black Rhinos v ZPC Kariba (Morris Depot), Triangle United v Tsholotsho FC (Gibbo)
Matchday 34 (weekend of November 25/26): Bulawayo City v Bantu Rovers, Dynamos v Chicken Inn, Chapungu v FC Platinum, Ngezi Platinum Stars v Triangle, Tsholotsho FC v Black Rhinos, ZPC Kariba v Hwange, Hrare City v How Mine, Shabanie Mine v Yadah FC, Highlanders v Caps United