HomeSportPSL boss defends love for Mandava

PSL boss defends love for Mandava

THE creation of the fourth Division One league in the country in 2010 — the Central Region —saw Mimosa Football Club being crowned the first champions of the region thereby grabbing the sole ticket to play in the top flight league in 2011.

By Brian Nkiwane

The other regions which have been in existence are Northern, Eastern and Southern Region.

It did not take time for the rich platinum miners led by then president Nathan Shoko to approve a budget that would see the renovations of the stadium which did not take time, turning a small “shake shake” football pitch into one of the country’s finest football venues.

The job done by Shoko and his executive has changed Zvishavane from a ghost mining town to a football town.

With Shabanie Mine FC in the same hood already playing in the league, the coming in of FC Platinum has changed a lot of things in Zimbabwean football as the Zvishavane derby has proved to be one of the liveliest in the country with the Harare derby now a one sided affair, as DeMbare has continued to dominate.

Mandava has become the most popular football venue for most of the cup competitions that have been played in the country.

This has not gone down well with other football stakeholders, fans as well as clubs who claim that this presents FC Platinum an edge over their opponents each time they play at home, especially in cup matches.

A number of cup competitions have been staged at the stadium which can host evening matches.

Most fans were quick to point at the NetOne four team season opener which was staged at Mandava last year as well as the Chibuku Super Cup in which FC Platinum has for the second time played at home.

The platinum miners played Bantu Rovers in the first round of the cup on August 16 at Mandava before edging CAPS United in the same competition at the same venue last weekend.

A TV presenter during the draw in Gweru on Monday announced that FC Platinum was going to host Black Rhinos in the semis at the same venue, raising concern the Stadium was being favoured.

A staunch football fan Pawareva Tube Ngwenya could not believe FC Platinum would play three games in the same cup at home.

“This is not good at all. FC Platinum is getting favours from the league and it has to be investigated,” said Ngwenya.

However, PSL chief executive officer Kenny Ndebele was quick to respond to the allegations.

“The problem is that there is an element of overzealousness on the part of whoever announced the venues. As PSL, we have not yet announced the venues of the semifinals. We are going to do that in the near future taking into consideration all these things that football stakeholders have been raising,” Ndebele said.

Standardsport coaxed Ndebele to reveal why Mandava had become a favourite venue in such a short space of time.

“The thing is there are charges that go with hosting a football match at any given venue. I think as PSL we have been advocating for the lowering of these charges with town councils which has in many cases fallen on deaf ears. But I am happy to tell you that we have been getting favourable rates from FC Platinum for the use of that venue. In most cases, other towns charge 20% of the total gate takings for the use of a stadium but here we have been getting low rates, as low as five percent.”

Ndebele said FC Platinum usually allowed the venue to be used for charity matches.

“The owners of the venue go on to avail the venue for free each time charity matches are played. Look at the just-ended Zimbabwe National Army Charity Shield played between Platinum and CAPS United, the venue was for free.”

There was another charity match played at the beginning of the year, the CG Msipa Charity Shield which featured four teams namely Highlanders, who lost to Chapungu in the semis and Shabanie Mine who also lost to Platinum in the same stage.

Platinum won the cup after beating Chapungu United in the final.
Ndebele also cited the cost which goes with live screening of football matches on Supersport channels.

“Mandava is a bit central. We can cover a match in Bulawayo and proceed to Mandava the following day, or cover a match in Gweru and proceed to Mandava or even cover a match in Chiredzi and proceed to Mandava the following day, or vice-versa. The stadium was built in such a way that it offers live coverage equipment, therefore we do not have to hire scaffolds for cameras like what we do at other stadiums in other parts of the country.”

He also admitted that the move to stick to Mandava has paid off as other towns who did not want to move from the 20% charge had since discovered that they were losing business and were now willing to negotiate, with others, like Harare coming down to 15%.

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