Zimbabwe to host hockey Olympics qualifiers

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The Hockey Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) has been given the opportunity to host the 2012 London Olympics qualifiers next year, if the country’s two main facilities Magamba and Khumalo hockey stadiums are refurbished to meet international standards.
In a telephone interview from Bulawayo yesterday, HAZ president Farayi Kanyangarara said hosting the games would be the best thing that would have happened to Zimbabwean hockey since the All -Africa Games in 1995. “We are actually in possession of the letter from the Federation of International Hockey and we hope that the facilities will be refurbished in time for the games which are expected to take place between August and September next year,” he said. The astro turf at the stadiums needs re-laying and the electronic scoreboards need to be repaired. “If the facilities are upgraded, we will get the opportunity to host more major continental and international tournaments.
We hosted the women’s World Cup qualifiers in 1998,” he said. Zimbabwe was one of the first African nations to have astro turf for hockey facilities, which is why they hosted international competitions like the 1995 All— Africa Games and the 1997 women’s World Cup qualifiers.
Sports and Recreation Commission director– general Charles Nhemachena said they had already started the process of lobbying for financial support to refurbish the facilities by approaching the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture.