The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe/Swaziland: Mandava Gets Go Ahead

Zvishavane — Mandava Stadium has been given the nod to host the Champions League tie between FC Platinum and Green Mamba of Swaziland on Saturday.

It's sweet news for the Zvishavane community who will be able to watch the Champions League on their doorstep for the first time and ends speculation that has been doing the rounds in this town that the match will be held at Rufaro.

An inspection team of Wilfred Mukuna (Caf grounds inspector), Premier Soccer League chairman, Twine Phiri, who is also the Zifa chairman of the grounds committee, made the final inspection and gave the ground the green light to host the big match.

"The measurements of the stadium and everything else meets our standards. The dressing rooms are out of this world and they are all air-conditioned. The standards at Mandava Stadium are good.

"FC Platinum have been in the league for two years and what they have done so far is just wonderful.

"They have gone beyond the Caf requirements and all I can say now is to wish the team well in the Champions League. After putting in such an effort they must reach the final as everyone who is associated with the team is putting 120 percent efforts. They have had good preparations and I will not be surprised to see an all-Zimbabwe final pitting Dynamos and FC Platinum, which will be for the first time in history" said Phiri.

Mukuna, a retired referee, said the stadium was suitable to host international matches. "The pitch, security and toilets are all in good shape. The VIP will have bucket seats which is a job well done. My wish is to see the municipality of Bulawayo and Harare uplifting the standards of their stadiums the way a club like FC Platinum has done. If the corporate world could come and assist the municipalities in uplifting the stadiums, that would be very good," said Mukuna.

FC Platinum, who played their maiden season in the PSL last year, entered into an agreement with the Zvishavane Town Council to lease Mandava and replaced the old grass with a new surface and then erected more structures in the stadium.

They became the first local club to erect bucket seats in the VIP and VVIP arenas of their home ground.

The changing rooms at Mandava for the home and away teams have 25 seats, tiled walls and floors, three toilets, two showers with hot and cold water and there is a lounge suite for the technical staff and a flip chart for the coaches to use in the air-conditioned rooms. There is also a First Aid room, with a bed, which is also air-conditioned.

The stadium will accommodate 12 000 fans on Saturday and, when complete, it will have a sitting capacity of 20 000.

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