Relief for Warriors on road to AFCON

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Harare – The Zimbabwe senior men’s soccer team, the Warriors, has been given the go-ahead to play home matches at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) had initially condemned the arena.

With no other facility in the country passing muster to host international football, the Warriors faced the prospect of playing “home” matches outside the country.

Zimbabwe is scheduled to host Algeria in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on November 16, before travelling to Algiers for the return leg four days later.

The break in football because of COVID-19 provided an opportunity to spruce up the 60,000-seater National Sports Stadium.

The turf was upgraded and a fully furnished media centre and media conference room were installed, while ablution and drainage facilities were improved.

The facility now has a functional medical room, state-of-the-art changing rooms, and anti-doping rooms, which were among CAF’s requirements for the stadium to host international matches.

The stadium is yet to get bucket seats, but this will not affect hosting of matches immediately as fans will not be allowed into the arena due to COVID-19.

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