The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has given an update on the state of stadiums after CAF’s latest inspection.
The country is currently on a stadiums embargo imposed by the continental football governing body on all local stadiums for failing to meet the set standards and it seemed nothing has changed regarding that position according to a statement issued by ZIFA, through their Commmunications Officer Xolisani Gwesela.
The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has received the report concerning preliminary inspections done on the National Sports and Barbourfields stadiums respectively in March 2020 further confirming that the two facilities do not meet minimum standards expected by the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) and the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Both stadia are still barred from hosting senior men’s competitions, but they are approved to host youth and women’s competitions.
The inspection done in March was meant to provide the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) and stadium authorities with guidelines on areas that require attention before the final round of inspections scheduled for June and July 2020.
Government and Bulawayo City Council have been notified of the recommendations made by CAF inspectors, and the urgent need to attend to issues raised cannot be further emphasised.
If work on recommendations is complete, ZIFA will invite CAF to conduct another inspection between 15 June and 20 July to determine whether or not we can play senior men’s competitions at home.
Our local stadium inspection team, the First Instance Body (FIB) will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that refurbishments at National Sports and Barbourfields Stadiums are in line with the expectations of CAF and FIFA.
We sincerely appeal to all stakeholders involved to expedite the process of upgrading our facilities to the required standard so that we avert the grim possibility of playing our home matches abroad.
In this time of the covid-19 pandemic, we encourage everyone to observe recommended healthy habits regarding staying safe while also combating the spread of the deadly virus,” read the statement.