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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Government to upgrade sports facilities

Story by Lawrence Trusida, Sports Editor

Government is pulling all stops to upgrade the country’s sports facilities to meet international standards.

This was disclosed by Vice President Cde Kembo Mohadi during a tour of sports infrastructure in Harare this Thursday.

The country’s sports infrastructure is lagging behind in terms of meeting international standards and as it stands, Zimbabwe is not in a position to host international football matches at home, while hockey matches are now being held in schools.

Faced with this situation, Vice President Cde Kembo Mohadi, who superintends ministries under the social cluster toured sports facilities in the capital to assess their current condition.

The tour started off at the National Sports Stadium, which is the country’s biggest sporting facility which hosts national and international events in football and athletics.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) condemned the facility and urged authorities to spruce up the field of play, install bucket seats, put up a venue operations centre, and electronic turnstiles as well as upgrading the media centre.

So far, the operations centre is being set up, while close circuit television cameras (CCTV) have been installed, and works on the water reticulation are in progress.

Installation of bucket seats however remains outstanding.

Vice President Mohadi confirmed that the government is seized with the matter.

“The disqualification of Zimbabwe is an egg on our face, so we need to work together government and council to make sure we spruce up our facilities. Sport is not a recreational thing but sport is a discipline, sport is a career, we are doing a service to our child, we need to have state of the art sporting facilities in this country.”

He also challenged Zimbabweans to focus more on service delivery rather than politics.

“What matters is the service to the people of Zimbabwe, CCC, MDC, and ZANU PF don’t matter, what matters are the people of Zimbabwe and they deserve better service, Zimbabwe will remain until we are gone.”

After touring the National Sports Stadium, the delegation moved on to Magamba Hockey Stadium which is now being transformed into a multi-sport facility to cater for other disciplines such as netball, basketball and volleyball, while Khumalo Stadium in Bulawayo will remain the national hockey facility.

Acting Minister of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Dr Jenfan Muswere confirmed the new thrust and went further to update the nation on the plans for the National Sports Stadium which is housed in the same vicinity as Magamba Hockey Stadium.

“The plan now is to make sure that we have a multi-sports facility and Magamba is going to be redesigned into that facility. With regards to the National Sports Stadium, we have set up an inter-ministerial committee to expedite the process. Everyone understands it’s been long overdue and now needs to get done so that we move on to other facilities.”

The tour was concluded at Rufaro Stadium which has been under renovations to make it suitable to host Premier Soccer League (PSL) matches.

13 PSL matches have been played at the 61-year-old facility since it was reopened this year, but it has not yet been approved to host international matches.

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