National Sports Stadium faces CAF ban

by | Oct 18, 2021 | Sport | 0 comments


Hosia Mviringi

The National Sports Stadium in Harare, which is the country’s flagship sporting arena has been banned from hosting competitive international football matches.

This follows a recent visit and on-spot inspection by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) inspection team, which visited Harare between October 13 and14.

The CAF assessment team, which was led by Tshegofatso Moiloa found that the giant NSS was not suitable to host any more senior international competitive matches as it still embodies standards that are not compatible with modern safety trends, especially in the face of the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.

The Continental Football mother body has granted the NSS a one-match approval to host senior teams’ international matches.

The stadium will thereafter be banned from hosting any senior team’s international games and other CAF Men’s Inter-Club Competitions until outstanding issues noted in previous inspections have been resolved.

In essence, the Warriors’ home World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia in November this year will be the last game to be played at home until further review of the state of the NSS.



This sets ZIFA on a hunt for a favourable home for subsequent senior men’s matches until the stadium is certified fit for international matches.

In a statement, the Zimbabwe Football Association acknowledged the CAF report and verdict and committed to abide by the recommendations of the report.

“Other facilities in the stadium are still not up to the required CAF standards. The stadium needs to be fully modernised and brought up to the international standard requirements,” a Zifa statement on the matter said.

Among the recommendations are the urgent need to install standard individual bucket seats (all made to approved specifications) in all sections of the stadium, electronic turnstiles for entry control, Venue Operations Centre (VOC) which will act as the communications command centre with CCTV monitoring capacity and the elaborate renovation of the NSS B-Arena to acceptable international standards.

ZIFA has so far communicated the latest CAF position to the Sports and Recreation Commission for onward transmission to the parent Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture.

Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, CAF had relied on reports by ZIFA which had been given the assignment to update the Continental body on the state of the country’s premier sporting venue.


Meanwhile, the Warriors’ game against Ethiopia has been reduced to a dead rubber as the two teams were eliminated from Group G with two rounds of matches remaining.

Zimbabwe travels to South Africa on November 11, before returning home to face Ethiopia on home soil three days later.