Zimbabwe permitted to use Chinese-built stadium in World Cup qualifier

HARARE, (The Southern African Times) – The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has allowed Zimbabwe to use the Chinese-built National Sports Stadium when the senior men’s football team – the Warriors – host South Africa for a World Cup 2022 qualifier in June.

CAF had banned the use of all Zimbabwe’s stadiums in 2020 because they did not meet set standards.

While the country hosted African Cup of Nations qualifiers at the National Sports Stadium after the ban, there were fears that CAF would this time around insist on the upgrade before allowing it to be used for international matches.

There had been some doubts about the stadium’s fitness after the Zimbabwe Football Association were fined 2,000 U.S. dollars by CAF over some technical frailties, the state-run Herald newspapers reported Tuesday.

The paper said CAF had since released a list of approved stadiums to host the upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifiers, including the National Sports Stadium in Zimbabwe.

The Warriors will host South Africa between June 5 and 8 before traveling to Ethiopia four days later.

They will play Ghana back-to-back in the second window in September, by which time the National Sports Stadium is expected to have been fully refurbished, the paper said.

The 60,000 seat stadium was opened in 1987 as a modern facility, but authorities have failed to maintain it at par with international changes at sports facilities. 

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