Chinhoyi (Telegraph-New Ziana) – The newly appointed Black Rhinos football club executive is in talks with the Chinhoyi local authority to use Chinhoyi stadium as the club’s home ground for the upcoming season which starts in March.
The shortage of match venues meeting the Premier Soccer League’s (PSL) minimum standards has forced clubs to scout for bases far and wide, and even forced postponement of fixtures in the past season.
Last season the Black Rhinos versus Manica Diamond match had to be moved to the next day due to a shortage of facilities in Harare.
Currently, all the stadiums in the country are banned from hosting international matches except Barbourfields stadium, in Bulawayo.
Black Rhinos, which belongs to the Zimbabwe National Army, ushered in a new executive a fortnight ago. In order to avoid disruptions when the new season starts, the executive headed straight into talks with the Chinhoyi municipality to use Chinhoyi stadium as its home base.
The army side is said to be willing to do all the renovations required to meet the Zimbabwe Football Association’s club licensing requirements.
The Chinhoyi Municipality spokesperson Tichaona Mlauzi confirmed the talks between the two sides.
“We are still negotiating but Black Rhinos executives were here and we had a tour of the facility. The stadium’s pitch and dressing rooms can meet the standard,” Mlauzi said.
The stadium requires some renovations especially on the perimeter fence which needs a new one, and the VIP section has plastic bucket seats prone to vandalism since the section is an open space without barricades.
The VIP section can be converted to an enclosure with a roof which can accommodate the media and some VIP ablution facilities.
The electricity at the stadium is not working, the flood lights need attention and the public toilets are too small for the huge crowds set to attend the matches and these need to be attended to.
Chinhoyi stadium is currently the home ground for lower division Chinhoyi Stars and Chinhoyi Rangers football clubs and has a sitting capacity of 2000.