ACTING ZIFA president Gift Banda has revealed the country’s football motherbody has started engaging relevant authorities over the renovations of the National Sports Stadium.
The country is currently banned from international football.
But before the ban, national teams were scheduled to host matches outside the country because no stadium in the country conforms to the minimum CAF requirements.
And Banda, while spearheading the reforms needed at the moment, is also talking to the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation as well as the Sports and Recreation Commission to attend to the problems at the giant facility.
The stadium needs to be fitted with bucket seats and electronic turnstiles, among other things.
Speaking on the sidelines of the ZIFA Level One Coaching Course which he officially opened in Harare yesterday, Banda said the association will be working hand-in-hand with the relevant authorities to ensure the stadium meets the requirements.
“As ZIFA, we have engaged the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation and the SRC about making sure that the National Sports Stadium’s problems are looked into and they have said they are attending,” said Banda.
“We are aware that we currently do not have a stadium which is approved to host international matches. We will be working together with the relevant authorities to make sure that we have a stadium which adheres to all requirements.
“We are a serious football nation. As soon as we are readmitted into the international football family, we should have a stadium ready to host international matches.
“The response we have been getting from the Ministry and the SRC is quite encouraging. So you can see we really have a lot to do but we are positive we will achieve everything we need to achieve,’’ Banda said.
He said the coaching courses will continue at ZIFA level while they await for the ban to be lifted to start CAF courses.
Banda added that the association is currently implementing the reforms needed by CAF.
“On CAF courses, we are still waiting for the suspension to be lifted. One good thing is an acknowledgement of where we are as a country.
“Where are where we are because the football parliamentarians decided we should take this route. No one, including FIFA and CAF, can undo what the ZIFA Assembly has done.
“We are very optimistic that the suspension is going to be lifted very soon so that we can start conducting CAF courses.
“We have covered a lot of groundwork. We have adhered to all what FIFA has asked us to do. We will be officially communicating in the not-so-distant-future.”
Banda said ZIFA are working to ensure that coaching courses are decentralised.
“All football-loving Zimbabweans will start to see the fruits of the reforms we are making at the moment.
“We will be taking the coaching courses to every corner of the country so that we can capacitate our coaches.
“Human resource development is key to the growth of football in this country.”