BY FORTUNE MBELE
ZIFA are set to make stadia inspections on all facilities that have been proposed to host football matches, with the game set to resume at the end of the month.
Zifa spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela yesterday said an inspection was done at the beginning of the year before the COVID-19-induced lockdowns and suspension of football activities and it is prudent that another assessment of the facilities is undertaken.
“Football has been suspended for a long time; stadiums need to be inspected. There was an inspection earlier this year. After the inspection earlier in the year, football was suspended and no inspection has taken place to this day. We have to inspect the stadiums before resumption of football activities. That should be the protocol,” Gwesela said.
The Zifa spokesperson added: “Owners of the facilities (local authorities) are fully aware of what is expected in their stadiums.”
The Premier Soccer League (PSL) was last played in 2019 and when football was given the nod this year, it started with the Chibuku Super Cup with the main league set to resumed in July, but all activities were once again halted because of a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.
Only the National Sports Stadium (Harare), Barbourfields (Bulawayo), Mandava (Zvishavane) and Sakubva (Mutare) hosted the group stages of the Chibuku Super Cup.
All sporting disciplines have been given the nod with an emphasis on vaccinated athletes and officials being allowed for events and football is said to have achieved a 98% mark in that regard.
At the end of July, after the Chibuku Super Cup was grounded, PSL chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele requested clubs to submit their vaccination details and to ensure their home grounds were ready to host league matches.
“We are currently preparing an application to commence the Castle Premiership. The application will be submitted to Zifa. Please ensure that your registered home ground is ready to host the Castle Lager PSL matches. If the stadium is not ready to host the matches, you may be forced to play home matches at a neutral venue,” Ndebele said.