GOVERNMENT says it has thrown its full weight behind a last ditch refurbishment of the National Sports Stadium (NSS) in a bid to avoid the embarrassment of hosting Zimbabwe’s African Cup of Nations (Afcon) match against Algeria in a neighbouring country.
This comes after the Confederation of African Football (Caf) last week condemned all the country’s stadiums as unfit to host international matches.
Speaking after the Cabinet Tuesday briefing, Acting Sport minister Kazembe Kazembe said work on the NSS started on Tuesday to align it with the requirements of Caf.
He said engineers and architects are on the ground.
Kazembe said in two weeks the stadium will be 75 percent complete following renovations and other work underway at the National Sports Stadium.
“As we are speaking right now there are people who are working on the National Sports Stadium,” he said.
“They started this morning. Yesterday, there was a meeting of all stakeholders at the National Sports Stadium, a similar meeting took place in Bulawayo.”
He aded: “But I can confirm to you, work has already started, the pitch is being attended to, floodlights are being attended, dressing rooms are being attended to and all those three areas can be dealt with in the next 14 days. The spectators area – thats an issue that can be dealt with in the next 14 days funds permitting. The doping room is being attended to.”
Kazembe said areas that will be difficult include work on bucket seats and electronic turnstiles.
He said government will need more time to meet the above two requirements.
Kazembe added that government was in constant communication with CAF and are hoping the continental football governing body will be kind enough to allow the country to host its home match on March 29 at home.