The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
CITY of Bulawayo have accused the Zimbabwe Football Association of not telling the truth on the issue of moving the Warriors Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Botswana to Harare.
In a press statement sent out on Wednesday, City of Bulawayo senior public relations officer, Nesisa Mpofu said they were not involved in the decision of the venue for the encounter, nor were they engaged in the proposal for the fixture to be played in Bulawayo.
Mpofu stated that all they got was communication from a Zifa official enquiring about floodlights at Emagumeni, of which they were told that the lights were in good working condition. Zifa were however informed to engage the engage Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company seeing the precarious power situation in the country.
“The City of Bulawayo did get communication from a representative from Zifa asking about the floodlights at Barbourfields Stadium and they were duly advised through a letter after tests that the lights were in a good working condition.
“Council however explained that there was need for Zifa to further engage Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company taking into consideration the high power outages in the country. Zifa was also advised that as per norm, applicants intending to use the stadium should pay for floodlights in advance and equally meet the hire costs for the stadium,’’ Mpofu said.
According to the council spokesperson, no booking was made for the stadium since no payment was made. She stated that in any case, the local authority usually makes available a standby generator that has the capacity to power the floodlights in case of a power outage.
BCC made it clear that with Zifa having not booked Barbourfields, the issue of a venue switch does not even arise.
Zifa on Tuesday claimed that they were moving the match between the Warriors and the Zebras set for 15 November from Bulawayo to the National Sports Stadium in Harare because there was no certainty on the Barbourfields lighting system because the floodlights at the facility were last used in 2017.