Africa’s soccer governing body CAF has rejected an appeal by the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) against its decision to bar Zimbabwe from hosting international matches over the poor state of its stadiums.
Authorities are now refurbishing the National Sports Stadium in Harare and Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo respectively in the hope CAF can order a new inspection which will pass one of the venues as fit to host the March 29 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Algeria.
But CAF, in an email to ZIFA delivered Wednesday, maintained that ZIFA should “name a venue outside the country as earlier advised.”
CAF cited and attached the same correspondence sent to ZIFA on February 25, in which it advised ZIFA to find a CAF-approved stadium in a regional country where it would host its home matches.
To add insult to injury, the delay in confirming the AFCON match venue within CAF’s stipulated deadline has left ZIFA facing a US$4,000 fine.
The fine will increase if ZIFA take longer to name a venue. CAF regulations stipulate that dates and match venues be set two months before the match.
Zimbabwe is now likely to host Algeria in South Africa.