There has been a brewing battle between Zimbabwe’s football management body, ZIFA and Africa’s largest Football federation, CAF. The bone of contention has been the poor state of Zimbabwe’s soccer stadia. Because of this, the country has been banned from hosting any CHAN qualifier games on its stadia, something that both the government and ZIFA see as sabotage. Despite the country’s ailing economy, Zimbabwe national football team remains formidable in the continent’s football arena. You can also use this lottery promo code to place your wager on Africa’s champion’s league, in which, Zimbabwe’s own TP Mazembe is taking part.
Now, here is the big question. How did it all begin and how does the ban on Stadia affect the country’s place in international football? Well, here is what we know so far.
All Local Stadia Banned
CAF action comes at a time when major football tournaments and qualifier competitions are ongoing on the continent. While some players in the sector may be reading malice, it is also noteworthy that the ban is worst timed. In its statement, CAF criticized the state of stadia in the country. Even worse, it went ahead to ban all local stadia, citing unsuitability to hold international matches. It takes the government back to the drawing board.
Some stadiums that have been dealt a huge blow are Barbourfields in the country’s capital Bulawayo. Barbourfields had acquired a certified. However, after failing to improve areas pointed out in the conditions that came with CAF conditions, the hammer has once again fallen on one of the country’s major stadia.
A blow to National Team 2020 AFCON and FIFA World Cup Prospects
Good stadia are central to any country’s sporting prowess. The ban CAF has placed on ZIM stadia, therefore, comes as a huge blow to a country’s whose national football team is also grappling with financial challenges. The big question everyone is asking right now is will The Warrior (ZIM national football team) qualify for AFCON and FIFA Worldcup? The truth is that with stadia that fall short of international standards, the governments must move with speed to restore the state to stadia to acceptable international standards.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe football governing body, ZIFA can seek venues outside the country. Countries like Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique are arguably the best alternatives. But everyone is asking, how long with the saga continue? The cost that comes with playing outside the country is huge, not to mention financial misappropriation scandals that have rocked ZIFA in recent years.
A Rush against Time
CAF ban prohibits Zimbabwe from hosting international football matches in local stadia. Despite CAF inspecting Barbourfields, the National Sports Stadium and Mandava Stadium on 1st November 2019, the turnaround is a shocker. To beat time, the government has since rolled out renovation of Barbourfields. The Warriors have registered impressive performance in AFCON qualifiers, beating Zambia away in Lusaka and registering a barren draw against Botswana. The ban comes in the wake of preparations to face Algeria, a football giant in the continent.