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Barbourfields Stadium renovations plea

by Staff reporter
08 Apr 2020 at 07:51hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE National Soccer Supporters Association (ZNSSA) has made a passionate plea to the Government and Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to speed up work at Barbourfields Stadium and have the facility ready for international matches.

Caf has condemned Barbourfields Stadium and National Sports Stadium and the two facilities have up to June 15 to be compatible.

 A lot of work and resources are needed to spruce up the facilities, with Barbourfields Stadium which faces "structural" challenges to extend the players' dressing rooms as well as the referees and medical rooms set to gobble a huge chunk.

The tide has turned on Barbourfields Stadium which had been given a provisional clearance to host Caf matches, with the last being FC Platinum's Champions League games.

Bulawayo City Council, with the assistance of Government which availed $13 million for renovations, has been working tirelessly to spruce up the venue.

Donations in the form of 100 cement bags and a refrigerator from Beadle Gwasira and Herentals Group of Colleges who bought 10 toilet seats as well as an air conditioner were given to the local authority to assist in getting Barbourfields Stadium ready.

Work at the facility has been affected by the coronavirus lockdown, which has forced the local authority to scale down operations at the venue with few people working. Chronicle Sports crew found the gates locked yesterday and could not get a look into the stadium.

Before the lockdown, outstanding issues at the medical and doping rooms were being attended to, as well as the media sections. Council has reiterated its commitment to "fix" the venue to the best of its abilities. ZNSSA vice-chairman, Carlmarx Nkomo asked for the relevant authorities to spare them the agony of losing international games at Bulawayo.

"We don't want to sound selfish because we are aware that Government and BCC are seized with Covid-19, which came to us in a bad way but in the same breath we feel the suspension of activities has bought the country time to fix the facilities. In as much as we want Barbourfields Stadium fixed, we also want the same energy directed to the National Sports Stadium so that we avoid having national teams playing outside the country," said Nkomo.

The ZNSSA secretary-general for the southern region Trust Jim said having Barbourfields Stadium ready for international games has a potential to boost Bulawayo's economy.

"They must try by all means to sort out the stadium so as to ensure that our soccer fans don't feel marginalised as all matches have been played in Harare. We thought this was the year for games to be spread. We know that resources are being channeled to fight Covid-19 but we should also know that there is life after coronavirus.

"Look, if we have Barbourfields Stadium hosting games, it means all sectors of Bulawayo benefit. The hotels, those in transport industry, entertainment industry, bars and vendors benefit.

The general public also gets an opportunity to watch top-class entertainment," Jim said. Despite progress being affected by the national lockdown, Government has assured the nation that it expects to meet the June deadline for football stadia renovations.

Source - chronicle

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