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CAF Condemns Rufaro & National Sports Stadia

Both stadia do not meet the set CAF stadium minimum requirements to host CAF international matches

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CAF Condemns Rufaro & National Sports Stadia

Zimbabwe’s football fraternity faces yet another setback as the Warriors find themselves potentially forced to play their home games in foreign countries.

CAF Bans All Stadiums in Zim From Hosting International Matches

This comes after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) once again condemned both the National Sports Stadium and Rufaro Stadium as unsuitable for hosting international football matches.

The concerns about Rufaro and the National Sports Stadium were conveyed in a letter from CAF’s technical development director, Raul Chipenda, to ZIFA Normalisation Committee chairperson Lincoln Mutasa.

According to The Chronicle, the letter followed inspection visits conducted at the end of the previous year.

Chipenda’s letter stated:

With reference to the stadium general inspection conducted by CAF in Zimbabwe to assess the National Sports Stadium (Harare) and Rufaro Stadium (Harare), based on the inspection report, we regret to inform you that both stadiums do not meet the set CAF stadium minimum requirements to host CAF international matches.”

The report highlighted areas of concern, including the field of play, stands and spectator facilities, competition areas, media and medical facilities, and emphasized the need for a complete renovation to meet modern football stadium standards.

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CAF Condemns Rufaro & National Sports Stadia

The stadiums’ functionality, design, comfort, and quality of equipment were also identified as pressing issues.

According to CAF, the National Sports Stadium remains in a similar condition as during its last inspection, while the ongoing refurbishment work on Rufaro Stadium is not fully aligned with CAF’s requirements.

Chipenda expressed disappointment that certain structural errors and deficiencies could have been avoided had CAF been consulted from the project’s inception.

Despite Harare City Council Mayor Jacob Mafume’s assurances that Rufaro Stadium has been refurbished to meet world-class standards by the end of next month, CAF recommends the 61-year-old facility be demolished and rebuilt to conform to international requirements.

City Parking Begins Rufaro Stadium Renovations

This condemnation puts the national team and the local clubs at risk of having to play their CAF matches outside the country.

As it stands, it is important to underline that there is a high risk that at the end of the ongoing renovation works in Rufaro Stadium, the stadium might still fail to comply with the minimum requirements to host some of the CAF competitions. We would like to highlight that the overall stadiums situation in Zimbabwe remains critical, and in case the standards do not improve in the near future, the national teams and clubs will have to continue to play their CAF matches in an approved stadium outside of your territory.”


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