The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
MOST of the renovation work at Barbourfields Stadium has been completed, with the City of Bulawayo having worked tirelessly to get the facility up to standard.
Responding to questions from this publication, Nesisa Mpofu, the Bulawayo City Council senior public relations officer said the bulk of the work has been done. While BCC are putting a lot of effort in renovating Emagumeni, they are mindful of issues related to the fight against the coronavirus.
“The bulk of the work has been done. We are still working in full force however, cognisant of the issues for Covid-19 and also watching national Government proclamations on the pandemic,’’ said Mpofu.
A recent visit to the facility showed that the parking area behind the Mpilo End has been tarred while the one on the Swimming Pool End had also been cleared in preparation for it to be spruced up. Some of the renovations were being carried out to the changing rooms, work on the pitch floodlights, erection of aluminium goal posts, installing WiFi internet, repainting of team benches.
With measures being put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus, BCC have had to cut down on the number of employees at Barbourfields to comply with the health standard obligations. Another challenge has been not being able to procure material since some of the suppliers are said to be working on shutting down production.
“We are not an exception as we have had to reduce the staff at the ground to meet the health standard requirement. We may be affected by failing to source the requisite material as some suppliers are reportedly working towards shutting down manufacturing and selling of material,’’ she said.
Early this month, Government made available $13 million to be used for refurbishing parts of Barbourfields that need to be spruced up to ensure the stadium meets Confederation of African Football standards for hosting international matches.
However, last Friday, the Zimbabwe Football Association said Barbourfields and the National Sports Stadium were still barred by Caf from hosting senior men’s competitions, with the two venues however, permitted to host youth and women’s competitions.