Poor stadiums kill Zimbabwe’s Afcon 2017 bid

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ZIMBABWE’S lack of stadiums was crudely exposed again on Monday when the Confederation of African Football (CAF) booted the country out of the preliminary process of the Afcon 2017 hosting bids.
Kenya met the same fate as Zimbabwe at Monday’s meeting, leaving Ghana, Gabon, favourites Algeria and Egypt in the last four.
“Of the countries which submitted bids to the General Secretariat of Caf by the deadline of 30th September 2014, only four were determined to be compliant with the set criteria to be considered.
“Those are for Algeria, Egypt, Gabon and Ghana. The Executive Committee will finalise the date on which to take the vote to determine the host country.”
Zimbabwe was among the seven countries that submitted bids to host the competition after Libya pulled out due to political unrest and violence in the North African country.
Caf emphasized that due to the limited time frame for the organisation of the tournament, the Executive Committee was only focusing on the host with acceptable infrastructure and facilities required, which included stadia, training grounds, accommodation and communications in making a decision.
Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze admitted they had fallen short of Caf expectations.
“Admittedly, we fell short on their expectations especially given the time-frame for hosting the games. We need to do more on infrastructure going forward,” he said.
Zimbabwe has two stadiums that could have been considered for the tournament – the National Sports Stadium in Harare and Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo. Rufaro Stadium in Harare has an artificial turf, which would need to be removed.
The other stadium of note is Mandava in Zvishavane, but there are no hotels in the mining town that meet Caf’s criteria.Advertisement