Gwanda to renovate Pelandaba

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Highlanders chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede

THE Gwanda local authority has revealed plans to renovate Pelandaba Stadium in order to attract top-flight clubs and help aid Zifa’s football development programmes.

KEVIN MAPASURE
staff REPORTER

Gwanda Mayor Knowledge Ndlovu revealed the plans last Saturday when he officiated at the Zifa presidium national tour in the Matabeleland South capital. Ndlovu made the announcement while responding to the football mother body’s president Cuthbert Dube’s plea for government and local authorities to develop facilities.

Dube said football development was being hampered by lack of facilities in some areas. In a speech read on his behalf by Zifa vice-president Ndumiso Gumede, he urged all stakeholders to partner and mobilise resources.

“I am aware that the province lacks football facilities that can compare to Barbourfields, Rufaro, Ascot, the National Sports stadiums to mention a few. I urge the business community, local authorities, the government and Zifa to urgently come up with a strategic position in terms of the construction of football stadia.

“This province should have Fifa standard stadia in Beitbridge, Gwanda, Plumtree, if it is to host Premier Soccer League (PSL), Caf and Fifa competitions,” Dube said.

Ndlovu said Gwanda already had plans to renovate Pelandaba soon — former home to Gwanda Ramblers and Njube Sundowns — and also had ambitions to extend it in future.

“We have space to extend Pelandaba, but for now we are going to renovate it so that we are not left out when cup competitions like the Mbada Diamonds Cup are spread throughout the country.

“We also hope to attract top-flight clubs to come and use it as their home ground,” Ndlovu said.

There were plans to develop the stadium into a 10 000-seater facility ahead of the Fifa 2010 World Cup hosted in South Africa, but the plans were not put.

Dube urged teams in Matabeleland South Province to invest in youth development if they are to maintain presence in the top-flight. Triple B lasted just one season in the top-flight and will be returning to Division One, but have already been replaced by Bulawayo Chiefs, who will be based in Plumtree.

Speaking at the same function, provincial chairman Nkosilathi Ncube urged the business community — especially the gold mines in the area — to invest more in football. Ncube kick started a campaign to seek re-election after a successful first stint which has seen the establishment of two Division Two leagues and the establishment of a Zifa office in the province.