Bulawayo City Council (BCC) Town Clerk Christopher Dube said they were caught unaware by the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) decision to ban Barbourfields Stadium from hosting continental competitions.
Dube said Council had already started the process of revamping the facility to meet CAF standards. He said:
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What delayed the process of improving certain things at Barbourfields Stadium was that there were processes that needed to be followed that include approval of the budget, which was done a couple of weeks ago. Also, some of the things have to be imported and foreign currency isn’t easily available. As it is, there’s an ongoing Government programme we are hoping to get help from for the development of Barbourfields Stadium.
As Bulawayo, we are committed to hosting international games in the city because that promotes tourism and improves revenue inflows. We are always ready for international games and I think it was only fair to give us time to attend to any shortcomings. What is important is to work together with Zifa and Caf and as Bulawayo City Council we can make a written commitment stating the timeline when renovations will be completed and then be held accountable if we miss the deadline.
On Tuesday the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) announced that it was searching for an alternative venue outside the country to host the 2021 Afcon qualifier next month between Zimbabwe and Algeria.