Coventry shares NSS progress report

Sports minister Kirsty Coventry

SPORTS minister Kirsty Coventry says the government has made progress in the sprucing up of the National Sports Stadium to meet Caf standards to host international football.

The stadium was closed for renovations but there seemed to be nothing going on after pictures circulated showing a neglected facility.

While the progress is not coming quick enough for national teams that have assignments, Coventry gave an update in Parliament where she revealed that they are making steps towards meeting Caf’s demands.

“With regards to the National Sports Stadium, the ministry is seized with the resuscitation to enable the facility to host Caf and Fifa sanctioned events. Today, the progress at this point is that the water reticulation is in progress, and with that coming along nicely, we are waiting for additional funding to be released for that process to finish,” she said.

Coventry said that turnstiles and electronic ticketing machines had since been procured but are yet to be installed.

“Turnstiles and electronic ticketing machines have been procured and have been delivered and are waiting for installation. There is need to be a smart adjustment to our gates for entry for these to fit in nicely.”

The current turf which is in bad state will be ripped off and a new one will be laid, but there seems to be little progress in that regard.

“The turf will be replaced and that is in progress, we have spoken to a number of the teams and players as well as the stakeholder.  They will prefer to have natural grass so that is now what we are working on.”

One of the main reasons why Caf banned the stadium was the unavailability of bucket seats.

According to Coventry, a third party has come in to assist and they are currently being manufactured.

“Bucket seats have been procured by a third party and are in the process of being made, and we want to thank that third party.”

On the downside, Coventry said, some of the work has been stalled by the late release of funds.

“That being the goal for us to be able to play at home, we are working towards that, but we are lagging a little bit on some of the funds that need to be paid urgently which will be spoken about with the Finance ministry next week.”

The Zimbabwe national senior men’s soccer team will play their next 2026 Group C Fifa World Cup qualifier against Lesotho in foreign land.

Zifa this week told NewsDay Sport that they are looking to have the match in one of the Southern African countries.

With the Warriors playing South Africa away days after the Lesotho game, it is likely that they could choose to play the June 5 match in South Africa as well.

The Warriors will also be involved in African Cup of Nations qualifiers this year.

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