The Confederation of African CAF) Football has banned the National Sports Stadium from hosting international matches until outstanding grey areas of the sporting arena are fully addressed.
The National Sports Stadium underwent a fresh inspection by CAF last week in preparation for the final two rounds of the World Cup qualifiers next month.
In a statement Monday, the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) revealed the continental football governing body gave Zimbabwe a one-match reprieve which means the Warriors’ 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia next month will be the last match played in the stadium until all the requisite amenities are brought up to standard.
After that, the National Sports Stadium will be banned from hosting senior teams’ international matches and other CAF men’s inter-club competitions until outstanding issues noted in previous reports have been addressed.
CAF has mandated Zimbabwe to install bucket seats at the stadium, electronic turnstiles, venue operation centre, and the renovation of the B Arena.
The continental body wants the National Sports Stadium to be fully modernised and brought to the required international standards.
According to ZIFA, areas that require urgent attention to meet required standards include:
“1. Individual seats in the stadium
There should be fixed seats in all sectors of the stadium. Seats for spectators must be individual, fixed (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.
2. 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 the Public Address System in case of emergency announcements. The VOC should be staffed and serve as the command centre for security and safety operations.
3. Renovation of B – Arena
The B Arena of the stadium should be renovated in line with CAF Training field infrastructure requirements.
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.”
ZIFA said it has already communicated CAF’s latest decision to the Sport and Recreation Commission (SRC).
CAF granted Zimbabwe the approval to host Ethiopia in their last World Cup qualifying match next month.
The National Sports stadium was initially banned from hosting senior teams’ matches in 2020 but was provisionally cleared allowing the Warriors to host Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualifiers. – Newzim