GWERU-Castle Lager Premier soccer League retainees Gweru based TelOne FC have approached the City Council (GCC) with the view of striking a deal that will see them renovate the iconic Ascot Stadium, as they intend to use it for their home matches in the coming season.
Ascot stadium last hosted PSL football in the 2021/22 season.
TelOne president, Oscah Nduwure recently reflected that his club was pushing to ensure the team plays all home matches in Gweru.
“As a club, we can’t confirm yet which stadium we will be using for our home matches but our preference will be in Gweru and as a club we are doing everything possible,” he said.
The WiFi Boys opted for Ascot Stadium as their home ground for premiership matches due to the stadium’s proximity to the club’s support base.
TelOne are reportedly keen on footing the costs of renovating the stadium so that it meets the required standards and in return get a waiver on stadium hire fees.
Gweru council spokesperson, Vimbai Chingwaramusee (pictured) confirmed the development saying the owners of the facility and the Wifi boys administration have discussed on how both parties can mutually benefit from the arrangement.
“We have held meetings with TelOne FC, we are still communicating trying to find ways of working together and how best we can make use of Ascot stadium.
“As a local authority, it is in our interest to ensure that the stadium is refurbished to meet the PSL standards. We are working towards that, it is one of our agendas and hopefully teams will be using Ascot Stadium soon.” Chingwaramusee said.
The ZIFA First Instance Board (FIB) report on the last inspection of the facility in 2023 noted areas of concern which need attention.
Ascot Stadium is generally in a bad state and requires a major facelift to meet the required standards.
“The stadium must have dedicated access, exit routes and seats for spectators with disabilities. Some of the areas includes playing surface, dressing rooms, the VIP section, seating areas for the rest of the ground, access and exit points
“All such seats must provide an unobstructed view of the field of play. dedicated sanitary facilities in sectors containing seats for spectators with disabilities must be made available,” read the report.
Meanwhile, TelOne are likely to use Bata stadium as their home ground when the season kicks off at the end of February 2024 with the hope of having Ascot Stadium ready for the second half of the season.