Tadious Manyepo, Harare Bureau
ZIFA have engaged the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to map the way forward after the National Sports Stadium failed to meet the Caf minimum requirements.
The association have also approached stakeholders at Mandava in Zvishavane which also failed the Caf test.
Zifa invited Caf officials to inspect the stadiums hoping Mandava, in particular, would pass so FC Platinum could play their Caf Champions League matches at home.
But, for the umpteenth time, Mandava failed to meet the standards and FC Platinum will host their 2019-2020 Caf Champions League group matches at Barbourfields.
They take on Tunisian giants, Etoile du Sahel, this weekend.
The National Sports Stadium was also deemed unfit to host international matches and if nothing is done, the national team will have to shift to Bulawayo.
But yesterday, Zifa president Felton Kamambo said the association have since engaged Government and other relevant authorities to help renovate the facilities.
“We had invited Caf to come for inspections but, unfortunately, Mandava and the National Sports Stadium failed the test,’’ he said.
“We have engaged Government on the National Sports Stadium issue.
“We are not the owners of this giant facility. We only use the stadium as and when we can.
“So, the right thing was to approach the authorities. We are glad that we are moving towards the right direction and I am sure, in no time, we will be inviting Caf for another inspection again.
“We are also in the process of engaging those in charge of Mandava so that we can help each other, pointing the flaws at the venue.
“FC Platinum need to switch back from Barbourfields for their home games for convenience purposes.”
Kamambo said there were several areas which Caf said needed attention at Barbourfields.
“We have also engaged the Bulawayo City Council regarding Barbourfields Stadium,’’ Kamambo said.
“There are some major areas which need to be looked at. For example, the issue of lighting.”
Meanwhile, the BBC reports Fifa have announced plans to raise US$1 billion to build, at least, one stadium meeting their standards in each African country.
Fifa president Gianni Infantino said this in Lubumbashi during the 80th anniversary celebrations of Congolese side, TP Mazembe.
“We want to bring it (Africa) to the highest of heights and show the world the outstanding talent and amazingly gifted players your continent possesses,” he said.
“To do this, we want to implement a three pillar approach: refereeing, infrastructure and competitions, in close cooperation with Caf, all of its 54-member associations across Africa and other stakeholders.’’
Caf stadium requirements
1. Pitch condition must be improved and the surface must be green and marked clearly in white.
2. In-field goalposts must be easily removable and spare goalposts must be available for quick installation.
3. The two covered benches should be at pitch level.
4. For evening matches, the floodlights Lux capacity must be according to the Caf CL match requirements. A minimum 1 200 Lux should be provided all over the pitch, covering uniformly every area of the playing field.
5. A uniform signage system around the stadium to facilitate entry or exit of people. It also wants clear adequate signposts to guide spectators to their sectors.
6. Entry gates, exit gates and doors must be operational and similarly clearly indicated by signs which are universally understood.
7. Installation of stadium specific signage from media entrance to all the various facilities for the media.
8. Installation of signage around the medical facility and throughout the stadium to notify supporters.
9. Barbourfields Stadium, to add “five individual seated toilets” in the dressing rooms, a massage table in each dressing room, a tactical board (white board/flip chart with pens) as well as good ventilation or air-conditioning.
10. A doping room which must be near the teams’ dressing rooms and must be “inaccessible to any person that is not involved with the doping control process”. It must be equipped with a television set, a refrigerator equipped with non-alcoholic drinks, sealed mineral water bottles, wastepaper bin for bottles, a ventilator and sufficient seating for at least eight people. The toilet area must be immediately next to the doping control room with direct private access
11. Numbered bucket seats fixed to the floor at Barbourfields as well as a safety certificate from the concerned authorities in which they will set the permitted capacity for the stadium together with detailed terms and conditions that the stadium management must comply with in order to operate the stadium at its permitted capacity.