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MPs slam Mzembi’s Fifa World Cup bid

By Chengetai Zvauya

HARARE – Walter Mzembi, the Tourism minister, was yesterday asked by legislators to assure them that Zimbabwe had the capacity to host  the Fifa World Cup  in 2034.

Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi
Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi

Mandi Chimene, deputy Zanu PF chief whip, fielded the question, demanding that Mzembi clarify his statement that government was bidding to host the World Cup.

Mzembi told the legislators that he was confident  that the bid would be accepted by Fifa.

“I spoke to Fifa president Sepp Blatter during the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa and he told me that it was possible for Zimbabwe to host the 2034 Fifa World Cup as long as we keep on having such big dreams and vision,” Mzembi told the National Assembly.

“We are also encouraged by South Africa which managed to host it in 2010. South Africa had made a regional bid on behalf  of the region as they had promised to  bring some of the matches here, so we refurbished Rufaro Stadium,  Barbourfields Stadium and National Sports Stadium. But South Africa decided to host the matches in their stadiums. But we are glad that Brazil flew over and played against us.”

However, most of the MPs expressed their pessimism on the bid, referring to it as a pipe dream.

James Maridadi, an MDC MP, said it was better to aim to host the  continental tournaments rather  than  big  sports events.

Mzembi defended his stance, saying that there was need to plan ahead to host the event.

“I am disappointed with the pessimistic attitude from the MPs,” Mzembi said. “It is extremely unfortunate. Everyone in the nation should support this bid as I know that maybe the players who will play in that tournament might not yet be  born.” Daily News