BULAWAYO mayor Solomon Mguni is confident refurbishment works at Barbourfields Stadium will be complete in time for the Warriors to host Algeria on March 29.
Zimbabwean football facilities were all blacklisted by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) from hosting international assignments due to their poor state.
With the Warriors set to host the Desert Foxes in three weeks’ time, the Zimbabwe Football Association will have to find an alternative venue outside the country unless Caf inspectors are satisfied with the renovations.
On Tuesday, government released $13 million to be used for refurbishing parts of the stadium against a backdrop of the Bulawayo City Council requiring $58 million to meet a full facelift as per the Caf check-list.
“The refurbishment of the iconic Barbourfields Stadium to meet Caf requirements is work in progress,” Mguni said.
“The facility has always been modernised to meet the requirements of tournaments and sporting events that has been held in the city since construction of the facility in the 1950s.
“It has at every stage been certified to meet those ever changing requirements.
“The facility has previously successfully hosted the 1995 All-Africa Games, the 2014 Africa Zone 5 Games and Caf inter-club competitions until its recent condemnation this February 2020.”
Mguni added: “Football is money; football is business and is ever evolving and modern trends requiring that we are pro-active rather than re-active. Sadly, the money that the stadium makes is not enough for the facility to maintain itself.”
Mguni extended gratitude to corporates, individuals and the government for coming on board to assist council to meet the Caf deadline, a development which he said was positive considering the council’s various pressing “service delivery issues to attend to.”