THE Hockey Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) remains adamant that the field season has to kick off this month even though turfs of Bulawayo’s Khumalo Stadium and Magamba Stadium of Harare are yet t
o undergo repair.
Custom Kachambwa, the HAZ president, confirmed to IndependentSport that he sees no problems in affiliate provinces resuming the field season given the current state of the turfs.
“No problem, the ball can prop up and adjustments have to be made accordingly during the games so it’s better for us to start playing hockey than to keep waiting,” he said.
Kachambwa added: “repair of turfs has not yet started but other repairs to go with drainage system and water systems have started.”
The Mashonaland Hockey Board’s president Kays Kanyangarara said their provincial field hockey season is set to begin tomorrow. The national league pitting selected teams from provinces kicks off next week.
Field hockey action comes on the heels of the indoor season which ended last month.
IndependentSport has gathered that HAZ received a $450 million grant from government through the Sports and Recreation Commission to repair the worn-out turfs of the world-class stadia.
Magamba and Khumalo stadiums were built for the hosting of the 1995 All-Africa Games together with the Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex.
Neglect of such facilities has been pointed out to the government which early last year turned down a proposal by Federation of International Hockey (FIH) which had offered it US$50 000 for the upliftment of the stadiums.
The turf at the stadiums which resembles a carpet has now cracked and exposes the concrete basement underneath.
Kachambwa conceded to IndependentSport that both Magamba and Khumalo were now not suitable for international standards.
“The only problem is that we cannot play international matches but we can still play local matches,” he said.
However Khumalo Stadium, used by the Matabeleland Hockey Board (MHB), has been closed for four months as it is considered unfit for matches.
Noel Samu, president of the board confirmed that they would delay field action.
“We were waiting for the water pumps which had gone for repair to come,” he said.
Samu however said they will fall in line for the national league that begins mid-May.