The country’s senior men’s national soccer team —the Warriors, will play their 2026 World Cup qualifiers outside Zimbabwe, amid revelations that no stadium in the country is among the arenas cleared by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to host the matches.
Zimbabwe recently returned to international football community after FIFA lifted the suspension imposed the country and appointed a Normalisation Committe tasked with running the affairs of ZIFA until next year.
But all stadiums in the country were condemned by CAF for not having set international standards.
The ongoing renovations at the National Sports Stadium have not been completed on time and giant facility is not among the facilities listed to host matchday 1 and 2 of the qualifiers for the global spectale.
Matchday 1 qnd 2 of the qualifiers will be played between 13-21 November 2023.
Zimbabwe are in Group C, together with Nigeria, South Africa, Rwanda, Benin and Lesotho.
The Warriors will travel to Rwanda on matchday 1, before hosting the Super Eagles of Nigeria on matchday 2.
The Warriors will most likely play their home matches in South Africa, as the Rainbow nation has seven stadiums approved to host the qualifiers —FNB Stadium (Johannesburg), Orlando Stadium (Johannesburg), Mbombela Stadium (Neispruit), Royal Bafokeng Stadium (Rustenburg), Moses Mabhida Stadium (Durban), Cape Town Stadium (Cape Town) and Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth).
However, the list of approved stadiums, according to CAF, is only for matchday 1 and 2, meaning the Warriors can still play home matches in the campaign, if the National Sports Stadium passes future inspections by the continental governing body.