Work on the NSS once-and-for all

The Chinese built this stadium for the Zimbabwean government way back in the 80s and they know exactly what type of seats fit in such a type of a venue.

There is good news coming from the local football scene that bucket seats for the National Sports Stadium have finally been acquired from China.

The Chinese built this stadium for the Zimbabwean government way back in the 80s and they know exactly what type of seats fit in such a type of a venue.

It is not clear, who purchased the buckets seats with word having it that the government did so while other sources claim it is a number of people and companies, including Herentals owner and Member of Parliament for Mutasa Central, Innocent Benza.

Whatever, the case is, the good news is that the seats will be installed soon and Zimbabwean football fans should look forward to watching their Warriors in action back at home rather than in foreign lands.

Surely, we lost two valuable points when we hosted and drew 1-1 with Nigeria in Rwanda, a match we could easily have won had the Warriors used the National Sports Stadium.

However, we still have three World Cup qualifiers at home against Benin, Rwanda, and South Africa, which we can easily win with the support and the enjoyment of our football lovers.

There will also be qualifiers for Afcon 2025, a tournament we desperately need to qualify to having missed out the 2023 edition due to the Fifa ban which has since been lifted.

Even if we fail in the World Cup, we should qualify for Afcon and prove to the rest of the world that we are still among the continent's best even after the Fifa forced isolation.

The Confederation of African Football has indicated that the first round of matches for Afcon 2025 would be held in September, which gives us little time to renovate the NSS.

On that premise, it is important that the installation of the bucket seats be commenced as soon as the seats arrive into the country as promised this weekend.

What we do not want is a situation where we will be told that the bucket seats were not installed properly because the company that was given the job was a briefcase one.

Neither do we want to hear that the job was not completed because the government failed to pay the company that was given the job to install the seats.

We should also not lose sight of the fact that the bucket seats were not the only problem that caused Fifa to stop the use of the 60 000-seater stadium.

So work at the facility should be speeded up to allow time for a Caf and Fifa inspection in case there are other areas which need to be fine-tuned before the first round of Afcon matches.

There should be a tight supervision of the work like what happened at Rufaro Stadium to ensure progress rather than the sit and watch attitude that has prevailed since 2021 when we last played Ethiopia there.

We should surely not relax because Zimbabwe's next World Cup home game is against Benin in March 2025 but strive to make sure that everything is in order before the start of Afcon 2025.

We should be able to use the NSS for Castle Lager Premier Soccer League matches this season and also use the facility for a trial run by playing Warriors' friendly matches right there.

It is a fact that the bucket seats were our biggest worry and now that they are there, it is now time to complete the job at the National Sports Stadium once -and-for all.

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