THE government has released funds for the refurbishment of state-of-the-art Magamba Hockey Stadium, an official of the Hockey Association of Zimbabwe (Haz) has revealed.
REPORT BY VITALIS MOYO SPORTS REPORTER
The multi-million dollar facility was built towards the sixth All-Africa Games hosted by Zimbabwe in 1995 and since then it has been run down due to neglect.
Haz vice-president Humphrey Chigwedere, said yesterday: “The government has approved the financing of the project, but there are still a few technicalities that have to be completed before actual work begins. No exact date has been set, but we are supposed to have it up by 2013.”
The Magamba facelift has been on the cards for some time now and has failed to materialise due to lack of funds as it is estimated to cost close to $1,3 million.
“We are currently working on setting up a committee that will head this project and members are supposed to be those from Mashonaland hockey region. Haz is also supposed to have an input. The Public Works ministry has to be involved too since they are the owners of the stadium,” Chigwedere said.
Magamba needs to meet the benchmark set at Khumalo Hockey Stadium in Bulawayo, which successfully hosted the Africa Olympic qualifiers in September last year and recently the Africa Cup of Clubs Championships (ACCC).
Sharkia of Egypt retained the club championships title in the men’s category while the women’s section was won by Telkom Ladies of Kenya.
Khumalo was revamped last year after the Finance ministry released $1 million.
If successful, the rehabilitation of the stadium will see international hockey action return to the capital as the country is meant to host the International Hockey Federation World Series Round 2 in 2014.
The neglected and disintegrated turf has rendered the stadium unusable although in the past years it has hosted international events such as the All-Africa Games in 1995, the Women’s World Cup qualifier in 1997, Junior Africa Cup of Nations (men and women) in 1997, the African Cup of Nations (women) in 1998 and the Africa Cup of Nations (men) in 2000.