By Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) have been fined US$ 2000 by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) due to “lack of technical facilities” at the National Sports Stadium during last month’s AFCON qualifier against Zambia.
ZIFA, who have been constantly lobbying the government to complete renovations at the National Sports Stadium, announced Thursday that the Harare-based venue is yet to meet CAF minimum standards.
While Zimbabwe was allowed to host its Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers at the stadium, CAF recently warned the country might lose the right ahead of June’s World Cup qualifiers if the demands are not met.
One of the main outstanding issues is the bucket seats which are yet to be installed despite time running out before World Cup qualifiers begin in June.
CAF also expressed concern over “general uncleanliness” at the facility which is considered the main football stadia in the country.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) advises all football stakeholders that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has fined the association US$2 000 for lack of technical facilities at the National Sports Stadium,” ZIFA said in a statement.
“In their letter of sanction, CAF noted that there are no fixed individual spectator seats in all sectors of the stadium and general uncleanliness. CAF stadium requirements stipulate that seats for spectators must be individual, fixed (e.g. to the floor), separated from one another, shaped, numbered, made of an unbreakable and non-flammable material, and have a backrest of a minimum height of thirty (30) cm when measured from the seat.”
The local football mother body says it has notified the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) of the need to expedite renovations at the facility
“We have notified the Sports and Recreation Commission as the stadium authority, and encouraged them to expedite renovations at the stadium so that we avoid future sanctions or the grim possibility of playing home matches abroad.
“The Warriors have played two matches under the provisional homologation window granted by CAF in 2020. The Warriors are scheduled to play a World Cup qualifier against South Africa between 5 and 8 June 2021,” ZIFA said.
Zimbabwe is facing a potentially embarrassing situation where the Warriors could be forced to play their home FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifiers out of the country due to failure to complete renovations at the National Sports Stadium as was demanded by CAF.