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A COMBINATION of influence of the Premier Soccer League broadcasters and the All-Africa Games qualifier between Zimbabwe and Cameroon have forced the PSL to adjust the opening fixtures of the 2015 championship race in Harare.

Champions Dynamos and ambitious Harare City, who both use Rufaro as their home ground, have been forced to move to a different venue and a playing day respectively.

Dynamos, who normally play on a Sunday when they are at home at Rufaro, will start the defence of their title at the National Sports Stadium against Buffaloes on Saturday.

Harare City, who also alternatively use Rufaro, will also have to begin their quest for honours on Friday against newly-promoted side Tsholotsho at the old home of football. Both matches would be broadcast live on SuperSport 9.

While the SuperSport factor will play an influential role in deciding the days and kick-off times in some of the matches this coming season, Dynamos and Harare City’s opening matches have also been affected by the national Under-23 side’s home game against Cameroon.

The Young Warriors would be at home on Sunday in an All-Africa Games first round, first leg qualifying match. In terms of Caf regulations, a visiting team is entitled 24 hours usage of the stadium before the game, which meant neither DeMbare or Harare City could play at Rufaro on Saturday.

And given that SuperSport wants to broadcast two games on the opening weekend of the season, it also meant that Harare City’s match was moved to Friday while Dynamos play the following day at the National Sports Stadium. As a show of support for Zifa, the PSL have not arranged any game on Sunday for Harare teams to avoid counter-attraction.

Harare City coach Taurai Mangwiro, who would be facing league debutants Tsholotsho, said the start of the league was long overdue.

“We cannot wait for the start of the season. It is our sixth week preparing and we don’t want to go beyond six to eight weeks. We want to see what’s in store for us this season,” said Mangwiro.

But all is happening in Harare on Saturday as Bulawayo giants Highlanders would be meeting the league’s runners-up ZPC Kariba at Gwanzura.

The Kariba side remain homeless for now and would have to begin their Premiership journey again at their adopted home of Gwanzura.

Last year the Kariba-based side was forced to play all their home games in Harare but the club has been busy with renovations at Nyamhunga during the off-season break following the recommendations by the Zifa Grounds Committee. But it appears they are yet to complete the required standard of refurbishments.

Fixtures

Friday: Harare City v Tsholotsho (Rufaro, 3pm SuperSport 9).

Saturday: FC Platinum v Dongo Sawmill FC (Mandava,) Chicken Inn FC v Flame Lily ( Luveve) Dynamos v Buffaloes (National Sports Stadium, 3pm SuperSport 9) ZPC Kariba FC v Highlanders (Gwanzura).

Sunday: Triangle United v Hwange (Gibbo) How Mine v Chapungu ( Luveve) Whawha v CAPS United ( Ascot).

Source : The Herald

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