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BCC yet to revamp BF

by Staff reporter
03 Mar 2020 at 05:48hrs | Views
CASH-STRAPPED Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has not moved an inch to start sprucing up Barbourfields Stadium to meet Caf requirements despite assuring Zifa that it could make most of the improvements by March 20.

Caf last week revoked Barbourfields Stadium's provisional clearance to stage continental matches, throwing into disarray Zimbabwe's plans to host the Warriors' 2021 Afcon qualifier against African champions Algeria at the end of this month.

Zifa and BCC held an emergency meeting last week to devise ways of salvaging the situation and possibly convince Caf to overturn its decision that has attracted the attention of Cosafa, who have also called for a reversal of the Barbourfields Stadium ban.

Zifa appealed the Caf decision last Friday after getting assurances from BCC that it will expediently direct its energies to address the venue's identified shortcomings.

BCC reportedly assured Zifa that it can meet all Caf requirements except the bucket seats in time for the Algeria clash. However, by yesterday there was no visible sign of the urgency BCC promised Zifa when reporters visited Barbourfields Stadium, with council workers busy "cleaning" the stands following Sunday's friendly match between Highlanders and Black Rhinos.

The overnight light drizzle had wiped out the ground markings, which Caf flagged during its inspection of the ground in November last year.

Top of the list is to replace the steel goalposts with aluminium ones, as the present ones are a danger to players in the event of a collision. Movable aluminum goalposts are needed in time for any inspection. Council is also required to have a LUX floodlights certificate. Caf wants a "minimum of 1200 LUX to be provided all over the pitch, covering uniformly every area of the playing field".  

A backup generator able to power the floodlights and lights at Barbourfields is also a major requirement and BCC also has to move with speed to address signage leading to Barbourfields, both outside and inside the stadium.

There has to be proper signage at the entrance for players, officials, fans and for the VVIP area, installation of stadium specific signage from media entrance to all various facilities for the media.

Council has to engage service providers for uninterrupted Wi-Fi service needed on matchday. While most equipment needed in a dedicated room for first aid and medical treatment of players and officials can be obtained from local hospitals or hired from reputable emergency medical services which provide ambulance services, BCC needs to start working to show seriousness on its part to fix the stadium.

Improvements to Barbourfields should be done whether or not Caf reverses its ban on the stadium for the sake of the domestic Premiership, as local players also deserve to play on venues that meet international standards.

BCC senior public relations officer Nesisa Mpofu said they will reveal details of their meeting with Zifa at a press conference today.

Source - chronicle