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Hammer blow for Zim football as CAF bans National Sports Stadium

The Confederation of African Football has granted Zimbabwe’s National Sports Stadium a one-match approval to host senior teams’ international matches.

Thereafter, the stadium will be automatically barred from hosting senior teams’ international matches and other CAF Men’s Inter Club Competitions until outstanding issues noted in previous inspection reports have been addressed.
This follows the inspection the facility by CAF’s Tshegofatso Moiloa on 13 and 14 October.

CAF indicated that the Warriors’ home World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia in November will be the last game that we will play at home.

The National Sports Stadium was initially banned from hosting senior teams’ matches in 2020 but was provisionally cleared later in the same year. Since then, CAF has been using reports from inspections conducted by ZIFA to extend the temporary approval.

Areas that require urgent attention for the stadium to meet required standards include:

Individual seats in the stadium, no fixed seats available.
There should be fixed seats in all sectors in the stadium.
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.
Electronic Turnstiles
The stadium should be equipped with modern electronic turnstiles and automated systems
Venue Operations Centre (VOC)
The stadium must have a functional Venue Operations Centre (VOC) with a good overview of the stadium equipped with CCTV monitors. It should have an override capability over Public Address System in case of emergency announcements. The VOC should be staffed and serve as command centre for security and safety operations.
Renovation of B – Arena
The B Arena of the stadium should be renovated in line with CAF Training field infrastructure requirements.

ZIFA communications Officer Xolisani Gwesela said other facilities in the stadium are still not up to the required CAF standard

“The stadium needs to be fully modernized and brought up to the international standard requirements,” he said.

Gwesela added that the association has communicated CAF’s latest decision to the Sport and Recreation Commission.