Warriors, Algeria match to be played in SA. This follows the decision by the Confederation of African Football to ban local stadiums for failing to meet laid down international standards. Warriors Afcon 2021 qualifier against Algeria set for March 29 will likely be played in South Africa.
Zimbabwe play the Desert Foxes in back-to-back encounters, beginning with a visit to Algeria on March 26 with a reverse fixture to be played three days later. The news of stadia ban was received with an outcry from fans, football analysts and administrators who lashed out at the Zifa administration for failing to deal with the issue.
However, Zifa are blaming the stadium owners. CAF gave a warning in November last year that Zimbabwe risks playing their home matches on neutral soil if Barbourfields Stadium – which was only given the nod then – is not spruced up.
Sources at Zifa, who declined to be named, told H-Metro last night that the local football authorities are considering seeking refuge in South Africa. Zambia is also another option but was considered an unfavourable territory since Chipolopolo are in the same group with Zimbabwe.
South Africa has been given priority because of the huge number of fans across the Limpopo. “There is need for a way forward and we are most likely turning to South Africa for this Afcon qualifier (against Algeria). Zambia might be considered but we are in the same group (for Afcon qualifiers). Also remember the number of Zimbabweans living in South Africa.
“There are chances that we will play before a full stadium in South Africa. Yes, an appeal will be made but I don’t think we are in a position to sort out what is needed before Matchday,” said the source.
Zifa announced the communication from CAF yesterday saying they are considering making an appeal while looking for other alternatives.