EDITOR —THE National Sports Stadium (NSS) has now been allowed to host Castle Lager Premier League matches and we had a good time watching the Dynamos and CAPS United game.
The giant sports facility and Rufaro Stadium were banned from hosting PSL matches in June. The move paved the way for renovations and upgrades after the stadiums had failed to meet the minimum standards for hosting topflight football matches.
Both teams command huge followings in the country’s capital city and the weekend’s match attracted an estimated 11 000 supporters.
As a people, we are passionate about football and were greatly saddened when, in June, both Dynamos and CAPS United were forced to relocate temporarily outside Harare after both the National Sports Stadium and Rufaro were closed for renovations.
Dynamos opted to use Barbaourfields in Bulawayo as their home venue while CAPS United camped at Boabab Stadium in Ngezi. Apart from the costly move of relocating to venues outside Harare, the two clubs also saw their support base being reduced significantly. However, the reopening of the National Sports Stadium means that two Harare-based giants can now tap into their legion of supporters once again.
As a soccer fanatic, nothing beats the atmosphere created by a live match.
For some of us, not being able to watch soccer matches was torture of the worst kind.
Our Sunday afternoons have now become exciting again and I also hope that Rufaro Stadium will also be allowed to host games in the shortest period. The return of football to Harare was long overdue. We hope that the reopening of the National Sports Stadium is the beginning of better fortunes for Zimbabwean football as a whole.
We hope and are optimistic that the National Sports Stadium will also be considered good enough to host international matches because the current situation in which the country cannot play their international matches at home is not good for our game.
Located just seven km from the Harare CBD, the NSS was constructed with the aid of the Chinese government in 1987.
With a capacity to accommodate 60 000 supporters, the stadium is the country’s main football venue when it comes to international matches.
However, renovations and repairs undertaken at the facility meant that the stadium was not considered for the 2026 World Cup African Qualifiers.
As things stand, the Zimbabwe national football team – the Warriors – will have to play all their home matches of the qualifiers in Botswana.
I thus appeal to football stakeholders to invest in new infrastructure matching modern day stadia.
— Fari, Harare.