The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has again condemned the National Sports Stadium and Barbourfields saying that even after preliminary improvements the two facilities still fail to meet minimum standards to host senior men’s football competitions.
By Sports Reporter
Caf inspected the two facilities last month and the report presented to Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) does not make good reading for Zimbabwe.
Both stadia are still barred from hosting senior men’s competitions, but they are approved to host youth and women’s competitions.
The inspection done in March was meant to provide Zifa and stadium authorities with guidelines on areas that require attention before the final round of inspections scheduled for June and July 2020.
Yesterday Zifa released a statement to the effect that both the government and Bulawayo City Council had been notified of the recommendations made by Caf inspectors, and the urgent need to attend to them.
“If work on recommendations is complete, Zifa will invite Caf to conduct another inspection between 15 June and 20 July to determine whether or not we can play senior men’s competitions at home,” the statement reads.
“Our local stadium inspection team, the First Instance Body (FIB) will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that refurbishments at National Sports and Barbourfields stadiums are in line with the expectations of Caf and Fifa. We sincerely appeal to all stakeholders involved to expedite the process of upgrading our facilities to the required standard so that we avert the grim possibility of playing our home matches abroad.”
Had it not been of the coronavirus-induced suspension of Caf matches Zimbabwe would have hosted Algeria in South Africa in their Africa Cup of Nations group qualifier after the stadia were banned.
Authorities have continued to work on uplifting the stadia and Zifa is hoping that the demands made by Caf could be met.