CAF BAN- local stadiums not fit to host International matches

The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has received correspondence from the Confederation of African Football that local stadiums do not meet Confederation of African Football (CAF) standards to host international matches.
Zimbabwe will therefore cannot be hosting any of the upcoming international football matches at home.
‘The decision by CAF comes against the background of a CAF stadium inspection which was conducted in November 2019 and the subsequent inspection report circulated on the 1st of December which stipulated areas of improvement for our three stadiums, Barbourfields, Mandava and the National Sports Stadium (NSS), to be fully homologated. While Mandava and NSS were completely struck off the roster, Barbourfields was provisionally certified on the condition that issues raised in the inspection report would be addressed.
‘Stadium authorities were notified of CAF’s position and the urgent nature of the situation at hand. To date, neither of the three stadium authorities has requested us to invite CAF for another inspection, a position which CAF has said led to the decision to bar all three stadiums from hosting international matches, ‘ said Zifa in a press statement.
‘While ZIFA is engaging CAF with a view to appeal this decision, we have asked stadium authorities to send us commitment letters detailing timelines on work that needs to be done before CAF comes for another inspection. Once we receive such commitment, we will send to CAF,’ said Zifa.
The local football governing mother body has urged all stakeholders to work for a common cause for us to quickly right this wrong which takes away the country’s sovereignty.
‘We have been using stadiums which do not meet CAF and FIFA standards for a while now, but we need to put our heads together as a country to ensure that our stadiums are renovated to meet required standards.
‘We unreservedly apologise to all football stakeholders for inconveniences that the decision has brought.
We are hopeful that everyone who has influence to expedite the process of bringing our teams back home will do their part.’
Zifa said it has started the process of looking for an alternative venue in neighbouring countries to host upcoming international matches beginning end of March when Zimbabwe hosts Algeria.
Zimbabwe’s next full international matches will be in March as the group stage of the 2022 World Cup qualifying gets underway.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) last year condemned the state of all local football stadia after revealing that only Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo met its set standards to host international matches. The only stadium approved by Caf was Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo, 440km from Harare, which has been given temporary approval.
CAF’s damming verdict on the poor state of local football stadia came after a recent inspection ahead of FC Platinum’s participation in the group stages of the 2019-2020 CAF Champions League.
The 2018 Zimbabwe champions wwere forced to play their home matches at Barbourfields instead of Mandava stadium in their hometown of Zvishavane.
The country’s football mother body, ZIFA revealed that CAF had declared the National Sports Stadium in Harare and Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane unfit to host international matches.
The National Sports Stadium which is located in the capital city, Harare is Zimbabwe’s biggest stadium. The Stadium was constructed with the aid of the Chinese government in 1987 and has a carrying capacity of 60 000 and is adjacent the National Heroes Acre.