Water crisis: PSL matches to go ahead

The Chronicle

Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter

DESPITE Bulawayo being virtually dry indefinitely as the city council battles to rehabilitate water treatment works, Castle Lager Premier Soccer League matches will go ahead, posing a health risk for spectators and players.

Bulawayo will host two PSL matches, Bulawayo Chiefs versus Manica Diamonds at Luveve Stadium tomorrow as well as Highlanders and champions FC Platinum at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.

“Please note that PSL matches set for this weekend will go on as scheduled,” said the PSL media liaison and communications officer Kudzai Bare.

Bulawayo City Council announced on Tuesday that it was indefinitely shutting down water supplies to the entire city to stabilise water levels at its reservoirs.

Only hospitals, industry, mines and the central business district have been exempted from the blanket shutdown.

According to Bulawayo town clerk Christopher Dube, council will only restore supplies when water capacity in its reservoirs has improved to normal levels. 

Since the municipality embarked on major rehabilitation works under the Bulawayo Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (BWSSIP) funded by the African Development Bank last week, some suburbs haven’t had tap water since July 1.

The BWSSIP programme is meant to improve municipal water supply and sanitation services in the city to improve the health and social well-being of residents.

With games going ahead in Bulawayo, focus will be on new Highlanders’ coach Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu, as he seeks to end the champions’ dominance over Bosso.

Highlanders last beat FC Platinum in 2014 when they registered a 1-0 win at Mandava Stadium. 

Since then, the two sides have met eight times, with FC Platinum recording five wins, while three encounters ended in a share of the spoils.

Bosso welcome back Prince Dube, who missed last week’s trip to Ngezi Platinum Stars after accumulating three yellow cards. Also set to return is pint sized Ray Lunga, who was sidelined last week due to injury, but Mpofu is probably scratching his head on who to select for the right-back position after Under-20 captain Andrew Mbeba saw red last week. 

With McClive Phiri and Bukhosi Ncube still out injured, the right-back crisis could force Bosso to line up in a 3-5-2 formation.