Zimbabwe has been barred from hosting any international matches until further notice after its main stadiums failed to meet required standards. Zimbabwe’s FA (ZIFA) says the Confederation of African Football (CAF) took the decision after inspecting stadiums in November. It means that Zimbabwe’s key 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Algeria next month will now have to be played in a neutral venue.
ZIFA says it has already started the process of finding “an alternative venue in neighbouring countries” to host games. CAF asked for improvement to three stadiums – Barbourfields, Mandava and the National Sports Stadium – but none have yet been addressed. “While ZIFA is engaging CAF with a view to appeal this decision, we have asked stadium authorities to send us … timelines on work that needs to be done before CAF comes for another inspection,” said ZIFA in a statement. “To date, (none) of the three stadium authorities has requested us to invite CAF for another inspection – a position which CAF has said led to the decision to bar all three stadiums from hosting international matches.”