By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
Zimbabwe’s main sporting grounds have been removed from CAF’s list of homologated stadium after they failed to meet the minimum requirements to host matches in a recent inspection.
The stadiums need to be renovated as Zimbabweans might end up playing their soccer matches in other countries.
Mandava and National sports will need serious renovations as recommended by CAF Secretary General Mouad Hajji.
In the meantime Bulawayo’s Barbourfields which also needs a face lift has been authorised to host CAF matches.
The state of the sporting premises is a sad reflection of the deterioration of the football facilities in the country.
“Reference to the stadium inspection visits conducted by CAF in Zimbabwe, we regret to inform you that the National Sports Stadium and Mandava Stadium have failed to meet the CAF stadium requirements, therefore both the stadium have been removed from the list of homologated stadia and will not be available for CAF competitions.
Contrarily, CAF has decided to exceptionally approve Barbourfields Stadium, which will be available for selection on CMS for only for the upcoming CAF Interclub matches, on the condition that the remarks attached are addressed in the coming period.”
CAF visited Zimbabwe and they made inspection visits to the stadiums and Barbourfields stadium being approved on the condition that the stadium is upgraded as well.
“CAF will continue to monitor the stadium situation during the next matches in order to ensure that the stadia are brought to the required level. “Kindly note that at the moment the overall stadiums standards in Zimbabwe is critical, and in the case the standards do not improve in the near future, then you will be kindly requested to play any CAF competition matches in homologated stadiums in countries of other CAF Member Associations,” advised FIFA.