Sports Commission gets the ball rolling. . .Zimbabwe’s stadia homologation high on agenda

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Austin Karonga
SPORTS WRITER
karongaa@dailynews.co.zw

©️ THE Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) has put in motion a detailed work plan on the current work being carried on local stadia with high hopes of getting the grounds getting the green light from the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to host international matches.

All of the country’s stadia are under Caf sanctions as they have been deemed unfit to host high profile matches.
Minister of Sports Kirtsy Coventry last week toured the National Sports Stadium, which is undergoing a major facelift, in the hope that it meets the minimum standards set by Caf before it can host any international match.

Coventry expressed satisfaction towards the renovations that have taken place at the giant stadium particularly the pitch, changing rooms, ablution facilities and the media centre and the press conference room which have been given a huge facelift.

Following these developments the SRC director-general Prince Mupazviriho said he is currently seized with the matter and is officially writing to the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) inviting them to write to their club licensing manager who will be tasked to write in detail that the stadia has been inspected and meets the required standards.

The government and well-wishers have had to play a leading role in the renovations of the stadia.
Before the local season was postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Zifa had advised the Premier Soccer League that none of the stadia in the capital were fit to host matches.

“He must have a mandate and satisfaction with what has been done vis-a-vis the requirements of Caf and Fifa and be sure and confident enough that the inspection has met all that was asked by the continental and international football boards,” Mupazviriho told the Daily News yesterday.

“If you look at the outline from Caf and Fifa everything has been done serve for the bucket seats, electronic ticketing and turnstiles. This however, is not because we are not working on it but we can’t import these things because of the pandemic that is currently ravaging the whole world.”

Mupazviriho said the coronavirus pandemic was not only peculiar to Zimbabwe, expressing confidence that Caf and Fifa would be able to understand their plight in case the deadline draws to a close before the completion of all the outstanding requirements.

“I don’t think it’s a losing battle if at all our situation was made difficult by the pandemic which disrupted even the tendering process which should have been done already by June or July. Initially we were targeting games that were set for November which have since been cancelled but we continue working with these targets in our planning,” he said.

“I’m extremely happy (with developments on the stadia so far) we are on the forefront of seeing and ensuring that things have been done properly and in accordance with the required standards.

“We don’t want to do an investment that can only last for a few years but we want to be able to construct the kind stadia that we can all be proud of for a very long time and serving multi-purpose.”

A source that requested anonymity however, said Zifa can only watch from a distance as they have nothing or too little to do at this stage.

“The procedure is that when all work has been done and stadiums brought to required levels, Zifa has to inspect and produce graphic granular evidence to prove to Caf beyond any reasonable doubt that work has been done.

“Caf will then send an inspection team to verify on their own,” the source commented.

 

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