CAF Inspectors begin assessing stadia

by ZBC Reporter
Confederation of African Football CAF inspectors are in the country for the inspection of National Sports Stadium and Barbourfields Stadium ahead of World Cup qualifier games later this year.
A two-member team of Inspectors from the Confederation of African Football – CAF, has begun its assessment on the progress made so far in the upgrading of the National Sports Stadium this Thursday.
The inspection will determine whether Zimbabwe will play World Cup qualifier matches in October at home following the ban of local stadia to host international matches.
One of the inspectors, former Bafana Bafana captain Mark ‘Feeeesh’ Fish confirmed that the assessment will also see them getting an insight into how CAF can assist in the development and growth of football in Zimbabwe.

CAF Inspector former Bafana Bafana captain Mark Fish

‘We are going around the continent as CAF Inspectors, they are using some of legends or former players to accompany Inspectors to assess and ensure as well assist countries to reach a certain standard CAF or FIFA. If you look at African football we are falling behind in terms of standards in football.
‘If you look at the last world cup we didnt have an Africa team that went beyond the quarter-final stage of the competition, since 2006, 2010 and 2014 definitely there is something that need to happen and FIFA with the support of CAF have looked at the facilities that are being used by African teams to raise them to a certain standard and to assist them as federations to ensure they give each an equal playing standard for players and obviously for spectators and everyone involved in football.
‘We are travelling around Africa and there are various different players being used with the inspectors but we are to to assist ZIFA to give them requirements through CAF. We come and look and give our reports to CAF and assist FIFA to ensure that you and your national team in Zimbabwe can play football, do what they do best and qualify for Africa Cup of Nations and qualify hopefully for a World Cup.
“This inspection visit is meant to assist ZIFA in the development and growth of football in Zimbabwe, so that it will be able to meet the minimum required standards. This is not only for Zimbabwe but for the whole of Africa.
Fish declined to comment on the ban saying it was up to him as his job was come to Zimbabwe and have a look and make recommendations.
‘My colleaggue Mr Blankese, we have just come from Mozambique, COSAFA region. And a s afootballer will tralk from a players’s perspective in sub-sahara we ceretainly do not compete as well as we should. So what do we look at when we say lookd at development? Do we look at players?or are we looking at the stadia or are we looking at the youth? So there is various aspects.
‘CAF have looked at the stadia as one of the aspects needed to improve the standard of football for the sub-saharan country, and I come from SA and Zimbabwe is a neighbouring country and we want it to suceed and not lag behind, we want to Zimbabwe doing well, we want to Mozambique as well. We all nee to work together to ensure that football wins. As the media and fan want to se Zimbabwe plays football in their home country rather sooner than later and this why we are here,’said Fish.
‘This period is six weeks to months when we travel the whole continent. So its not only Zimbabwe but the whole continent where letter have been written to foootball federations and associations. World Qualifiers start in Octover and hopefully with national federations and whoever is involved in running the facility work together to ensure the facility whether is SA, Mozambique or Zimbabwe, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar wherever that people are together and the common goal is football so tht we can lift football on the continent.
‘As an ex-footballer we are falling behind the rest of the world and why? facilities is one of them, development, we know as media there are many reasons, as media and ex-footballers we know there many things that need to change immediately come together, put our minds together and have a common goal, which is football and make sure we are movinhg in the right direction,’ said Fish.
Zimbabwe was banned by CAF to host international games in local stadia.
However, there is a glimmer of hope for the development of the nation’s football fraternity after this Thursday’s assessment.