World Cup stadium for Zim

15 May, 2024 - 08:05 0 Views
World Cup stadium for Zim Dr Jenfan Muswere

The Sunday News

ZIMBABWE will soon start constructing a multi-purpose sports stadium in Victoria Falls, which is expected to be completed in August next year ahead of the 2027 International Cricket Council World Cup to be co-hosted by Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia.

Government advised on the development after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, with Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) last night adding that funding for the 10 000-seat facility was already in place.

The stadium in Matabeleland North Province will also be able to host some sport codes like football, rugby, tennis, hockey and squash.

The planning and construction phases will be guided by the requirements of the said sporting codes’ international federations.

President Mnangagwa will lay the foundation stone to mark the commencement of construction of the stadium.

Zimbabwe has of late had a stadium crisis, with the national football team resorting to alternative venues outside the country for their home matches.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere said Cabinet considered and noted the update on the ZC Stadium Construction Project in the Masuwe Special Economic Zone for Tourism in Victoria Falls.

“Zimbabwe Cricket was allocated 10 hectares of land for the construction of an international cricket stadium and ancillary facilities in the Masuwe Special Economic Zone for Tourism in Victoria Falls,” said Dr Muswere.

“The project will contribute towards the US$5 billion tourism and hospitality industry by 2025, as well as the development and expansion of sports infrastructure in the country.

“Tourism is a key pillar of the Zimbabwean economy and ranks at number three after mining and agriculture, accounting for 12 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product during the period January to September 2023.

“The construction of the cricket facilities and associated infrastructure will also create training and employment opportunities for communities in Victoria Falls”.

Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Babra Rwodzi said the stadium will be constructed by ZC and they will own the facility for the next 25 years.

“The stadium will be completed next year, 2025, in August to allow the works on the grass, which has to be done a year before for the World Cup, to take place,” said Minister Rwodzi.

“The other sports disciplines that will be conducted on the same stadium will be rugby, tennis, hockey, squash, and still they are looking at other disciplines that can come on board.

“There is another ground (B-Arena) to be constructed on the same place for the  practice sessions of the teams that will be

competing at the World Cup.

“Zimbabwe Cricket is funding the construction. Zimbabwe Cricket is leasing the ground on a 25-year agreement with the Government and they will be constructing using their own money.”

ZC chairman Mr Tavengwa Mukuhlani last night confirmed that the funding for the stadium was in place.

He said they would keep in mind the requirements of other international federations whose codes will use the venue.

“We will have the multi-discipline facility. We will try to accommodate football and rugby and the possibility of an academy on that side.

“We would probably want to have a 10 000-seater stadium and we develop the facility, we will take into consideration the requirements of other sporting codes.

“The funding is in place for the construction of the facility,” said Mr Mukuhlani.

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