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Algeria and Zimbabwe Game Set To Be Played at Orlando stadium in SA

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Zimbabwe’s home leg of their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Algeria has been set to be played at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) rejected a plea to reconsider a ban on the country’s stadiums from hosting international football.

However, with the current confirmed cases of coronavirus in South Africa, the game is possibly going to take place without supporters. Italy has already initiated this method.

Sports Minister Kirsty Coventry confirmed on Tuesday that CAF would only consider a stadium outside Zimbabwe for the match.

ZIFA, which has come under intense public criticism over its handling of the matter, will come under fresh scrutiny for suppressing details of the rejection of their appeal.

Coventry tweeted: “ZIFA have failed to assure CAF that the work we are doing in the stadiums will safeguard our national teams playing home games in Zimbabwe. ZIFA now have to come up with a stadium for our teams to play home games outside of Zimbabwe.”

ZIFA, it was reported on Tuesday, have settled on Orlando Stadium in Soweto as the venue for the match.

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CAF condemned Zimbabwe’s stadiums in November last year and delivered recommendations to ZIFA for urgent renovations to the National Sports Stadium and Barbourfields Stadium.

ZIFA says it “e-mailed” the Bulawayo City Council CAF’s inspection report – but it made no follow-up and did not let authorities know the urgency of the situation until CAF dropped a bombshell on February 25 when it said Zimbabwe would play their international matches outside the country until the stadiums were brought up to standard.

The government released $13 million for work at Barbourfields and began frenzied renovations at the National Sports Stadium while ZIFA sent an appeal to CAF, in the hope the ban would be lifted after a fresh inspection.

Zimbabwe is in the same group as Algeria, Zambia and Botswana in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

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