ZIFA Grounds Committee  paint gloomy picture Xolisani Gwesela

Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter

THE ZIFA Grounds Committee, who have begun the inspection of the facilities used by the top-flight clubs around the country, have painted a gloomy picture, ahead of the new season.

Local CAF Club Licensing Manager, Xolisani Gwesela, who is also part of the ground inspection team, yesterday painted a gloomy picture.

Some of the stadiums, which have been under the spotlight, include Rufaro, Vengere, Sakubva, Baobab, Mandava, Barbourfields, Gibbo, Ascot, Luveve, White City, and Barbourfields.

“We have since started the inspection of the local stadiums in preparation for the new season and the undeniable truth is that we are facing a national crisis,’’ he said.

“All our stadiums are in bad shape and in dire need of renovation.

“It is a big worry when none of our stadiums meet the minimum requirements by CAF.

“We need to come up with a blueprint on how we should move forward from this.

“Our grounds need to be modernized, most of them were built in the 1970s and 1980s, and they no longer meet modern standards.

“So, there is need for an urgent indaba between the national associations, government, and the local authorities who run most of these facilities.”

Most of the grounds are owned by the local councils.

Gwesela said some of the venues can be renovated to the required standards.

“But, the sad part is that nothing has been happening on the ground, during the Covid-19 lockdown period,’’ he said.

“Some of the facilities have even deteriorated to worse standards, compared to what they were, before the lockdown.

“If nothing is done to the National Sports Stadium, in the next few months, we could be forced to play our home matches in other countries.

“We have to avoid this embarrassing situation befalling us.

“We would like to thank the Government for the commitment shown with the National Sports Stadium.

“It is far much better than what it was three years ago. But, as CAF have pointed out, we need to do more so that we meet the required standards.”

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