Sports Minister Kirsty Coventry claims her administration has engaged the South African company which refurbished FNB Stadium and Ellis Park to renovate the National Sports Stadium.
The giant facility was banned from hosting international matches in 2020 until all the grey areas to suit the morden standards set by CAF are attended to.
It was then given a reprieve for the Warriors to finish their failed World Cup qualifying campaign on home soil.
Before the continental governing body banned the facility again in November last year, Coventry had toured it and assured Zimbabweans that all issues will be resolved.
It’s happening Zimbabwe. National Sports Stadium still has some work to do but our Athletes (and fans of course!) will have a better home. Update from Bulawayo coming soon. 🇿🇼🇿🇼🇿🇼🇿🇼🇿🇼🇿🇼🇿🇼🇿🇼🇿🇼🇿🇼🇿🇼 pic.twitter.com/GZX4riwDpE
— Kirsty Coventry (@KirstyCoventry) May 6, 2020
Speaking before the parliamentary portfolio committee for sport last week, the former Olympic gold medalist affirmed that the South African company which revamped Soccer City and Ellis Park, has been hired to do the same with the National Sports Stadium.
“We are in the process (of refurbishing facilities). We have engaged a company in South Africa that refurbished Soccer City as well as Ellis Park as well as did the entire bid for South Africa to host the Fifa 2010 (World Cup). They are coming in a consultancy to oversee the entire project. It is moving slowly,” said Coventry.
The minister appeared to be accusing the suspended Felton Kamambo-led ZIFA administration of sabotaging the process of making the 60-000-seater stadium pass CAF inspections.
“There has been some sabotage that’s been happening. The teams that I sent out to go and look into other stadiums in the region have come back with photographic proof of stadiums which do not have seats which do not have lighting, in terrible conditions that have been sanctioned to be fine to play,” Coventry said.
“But our stadium which has lighting, maybe no bucket seats is not. But again it comes back to what the former Zifa board has been doing, the sabotage of calling for your own country to not be able to host games when countries in the region are playing in sanctioned grounds that have way less. The question for me is why Zimbabwe has been treated unfairly,” she added.
Despite claims by the Minster, the giant stadium continues to deteriorate due overuse as it is the home of five Premier Soccer League teams —Dynamos, CAPS United, Herentals, Yadah, Harare City.