By Magaret Matibiri
THE government is working around the clock to ensure the ban on the country’s stadia is removed as work is currently underway to meet the Confederation of Africa (CAF) standards, cabinet heard.
Speaking during a post-cabinet briefing this Tuesday afternoon, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa said cabinet had received a report on the state of preparedness of the country’s stadia.
“Cabinet received reports on the preparedness of the Zimbabwean National stadiums to host the Conference of Africa tournament. The Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Kazembe Kazembe who is the Acting Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation reported on Zimbabwe’s preparedness to host CAF tournament following the ban on the country’s stadia,” said Senator Mutsvangwa.
“Cabinet was informed that the Minister of Youth had conducted an inspection tour of the National Sports Stadium to assess Zimbabwe’s preparedness to host International matches, cabinet noted that corrective action is in progress and all effort is being made to ensure that the country hosts international matches in particular.
“Meanwhile consultations are in progress to ensure that the country’s stadia which fall under different authorities are also rehabilitated to meet required international standards.”
Speaking in an acting capacity, Minister Kazembe said work had already begun at the National Sports Stadium to ensure that the match scheduled for March 29 is hosted in the country.
“What we are trying to do now is to meet the deadlines especially the CAF one, there are only two areas which are difficult to achieve but most of the things like the pitch condition is being attended to as well as floodlights and changing rooms are also being attended to,” he said.
Minister Kazembe said the other issues raised are also being attended to at the moment as there is anticipation that the match scheduled for March 29 will be hosted in the country.
He also said the government will intervene and assist Barboufields Stadium so it meets the required standards as well.
The Confederation of African Football banned all the stadiums in Zimbabwe from hosting international football matches on Tuesday last week, due to failure to meet international standards, a development which means the Warriors will have to play their next 2021 AFCON qualifier against Algeria, at the end of this month, on neutral soil for the first time in the team’s history. CAF also extended the ban on Barbourfields, which had provisionally been cleared to host international matches, during an inspection held last year.
By Magaret Matibiri