Why Zimbabwe may be forced to play games on foreign soil

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Zimbabwe National Sports Stadium
Current stadia in the country, bar one, have fallen short of Caf's minimum requirements

Zimbabwe have been mandated by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to stop hosting home games at the National Sports Stadium in Harare owing to its poor condition.

The only stadium in the country deemed worthy by Caf was the Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo, which is 440km from Harare.

With the ground given just temporary approval, Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela, has revealed the stadium’s approval could be revoked.

"Caf has even warned us that failure to upgrade the stadiums could mean that in future we will be forced to play our home matches in neighbouring countries," Gwesela stated.

In addition, the spokesperson pled for the refurbishing of the stadiums.

"We always have been appealing to owners of the stadiums and the local authorities to upgrade their stadiums, and we now have a crisis," said Gwesela.

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"We have been notified by Caf that major renovations will be needed for the National Sports Stadium NSS and Mandava for them to meet their standards."

The National Sports Stadium replaced Rufaro Stadium as Zimbabwe’s home venue last year, after the latter didn’t meet Caf standards, and the former has been the Warriors’ home since.

It was last used in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier with Botswana on November 15, a game which ended goalless.