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Govt assessing NSS bucket seats samples

by Staff reporter
31 Dec 2020 at 10:30hrs | Views
Government has started receiving bids from local companies for the provision of bucket seats to be installed at the National Sports Stadium.

The bucket seats are expected to be installed by March next year. And local companies are jostling with samples as the Government, with the help of the local football authorities, has started its evaluation of the available options.

The Harare facility along with all other stadiums in the country was banned from hosting international matches by the Confederation of African Football early this year for failing to meet minimum required standards, including the absence of bucket seats.

The Government reacted swiftly, furnishing the media rooms, medical centres, sorting out ablution and drainage facilities as well as perfecting the playing turf. However, the authorities couldn't manage to, as planned, import bucket seats from China due to the logistical complications caused by Covid-19 restrictions.

The venue was temporarily cleared to host international matches, including the second leg of the back-to-back 2021 AFCON qualifiers between the Warriors and Algeria last month. The country's CAF Champions League representatives FC Platinum are also playing their home games at the National Sports Stadium after CAF waived the bucket seats requirements since no supporters are allowed for the games.

There is a high likelihood that a limited number of fans will be allowed at the stadium by March 2021 when the Warriors resume their hunt for a place at both the 2021 AFCON and 2022 World Cup finals. And Government has been running around in the background to procure the bucket seats, which they have already resolved to get in the local market.

Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Tino Machakaire, confirmed that Government has already started assessing samples provided by local firms.

"We should have installed the bucket seats in the entire stadium (National Sports Stadium) back in August thereabout," says Machakaire.

"But, the plan was to import them from China. "We couldn't do that because of the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions in terms of movement and other logistics involved.

"We covered a lot of ground at the venue to try and address all areas which had been flagged by CAF.

"We also wanted to install the bucket seats, which is one of the key areas which CAF wants addressed but the pandemic (Covid-19) wouldn't allow us to do that.

"But, we have now resolved to get the material from the local market which even makes a lot of business sense. We have realised that it is cheaper to get the material from home and it's also a way of promoting our own economy. "We have received a lot of samples and we are at an advanced stage in terms of our assessment. Very soon, we will be announcing the winner of the bid and from there we will be ready to start installing the bucket seats."

Machakaire said the bucket seats will be in place by March 2021. "As Government, we are running around to ensure that we address this bucket seats issue at the venue by the time Zimbabwe play their next international match.

Source - the herald