The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
BUCKET seats and electronic access control remain the major sticking points at the National Sports Stadium (NSS) as the country races to meet the 15 June deadline set by Caf that will see local stadia being inspected again by the continental body.
According to a Zifa First Instance Body (FIB) report, renovations at the stadium that had been flagged by a Fifa inspection team that was in the country in January had been attended to with bucket seats and access control being the outstanding areas.
An official with the body said they inspected the stadium last week following pronouncements by the Sports Ministry of major work having been completed at the giant stadium. Reports early this month indicated the giant stadium’s battered pitch has been transformed into a fresh and green surface, with a new media centre having been erected and renovations of the dressing rooms at an advanced stage.
“From the demands that were set by the Fifa officials that comprised Bafana Bafana legend Mark Fish and Derek Blackensee, most of the items have been attended to but electronic access control is yet to be attended to, together with the bucket seats. We have less than four weeks before the arrival of the Caf team and it is something that has to be attended to,” said FIB official.
He revealed they were scheduled to travel to Bulawayo this week with an inspection scheduled for Barbourfields Stadium on Tuesday. The official said although they are aware that some of the work had been halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they were yet to get any communication from Caf, whether the body will delay sending an inspection team. In addition, cross-border traveling has been curbed due to the coronavius pandemic, and sources said chances were slim that the Caf inspection team will travel during lockdowns underway across the globe.
Efforts to get a comment from Zifa communications manager, Xolisani Gwesela were fruitless as his mobile was not going through. The FIB has been conducting regular inspections on the refurbishments being done at BF and NSS to ensure that all is being done in line with international standards.