HARARE – Harare Sports Club (HSC) has given Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) an ultimatum over the use of their facilities as more problems dog the aftermath of last weekend’s chaotic international friendly against Zambia.
For starters, the Sables trained only once ahead of Saturday’s evening match which they went on to win 64-3.
Since the match was an evening kick-off, the players had to use their car headlights as floodlights during the sole training session after the union failed to pay for the services.
The visiting Zambian delegation of 79 players and officials slept on the floor in the foyer of a Harare hotel after ZRU failed to raise money to book them for the night on Friday.
Further embarrassment was to come on match day as there were no flags, national anthems or field markings for the World Rugby-sanctioned international.
In a strongly worded letter to ZRU, Sportivo insists they no longer want to host Sables’ matches at their venue on pro bono.
“As HSC Rugby section we believe we have exhausted our patience with the ZRU using our facilities whilst matters concerning our field have been left unresolved namely our boundary fence, and the return of the scrummage machine,” Sportivo chairperson Tinashe Shamu wrote.
“On late notice we agreed to host the Zambia, Zimbabwe games and we made all attempts to make sure lights and field were ready.
“We contacted the CEO (Blessing Chiutare) earlier in the week informing him…will leave all else but playing field and bar to be organised by the Union.
“As a result parking was poorly managed, technical zones non-existent, no national anthems sung or flags put up during the games. With few hours before the game we were asked for white shorts for the ladies, we were asked for match balls before kick-off of the first game and to heighten this poor organisation, our committee members hosted the Zambia management staff who felt abandoned at HSC after the game.”
ZRU spokesperson Raymond Gonte admitted the union bungled a lot of things and are now engaging Sportivo on the matter.
“As ZRU, we will not comment on the specific issues raised by HSC but we will engage them and hopefully resolve the issues amicably in a view of improving our working relationship for the betterment of the sport and the nation,” Gonte told the Daily News yesterday.
“ZRU being the custodians of rugby and HSC being a big stakeholder we also would like to take this opportunity to thank them for hosting the games on Saturday.
“Obviously, we could have done better from an organisational point of view and we are certainly looking to address these issues because I believe that we can do better.
“We will change what we need to change and we welcome criticism but believe it has to be directed to the right people through the right channels.
“On the matches however, they were some positives; we won the games, it was a fairly good crowd which was indeed an extreme showcase of what is to come in July when we host Senegal.”