By Rest Mutore
ZIFA are in a fix after it emerged that the initial venue – Orlando Stadium – in South Africa for their home encounter against Algeria on March 29 is no longer available.
The association had communicated Orlando in Johannesburg as the venue for the encounter after engaging the South Africa Football Association.
Zifa president Felton Kamambo yesterday said they have been advised that they now have to look for another venue – with Dobsonville put forward as an option.
This is, however, subject to approval from the South African government since the Warriors are playing Algeria – a country with most coronavirus cases in the continent.
The north African country has also confirmed its first coronavirus death after 20 reported cases.
Kamambo, who was appearing before the portfolio committee on Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation together with his executive members, said they were waiting for communication on the way forward.
They were summoned to give oral evidence on the state of local stadiums and the subsequent ban by CAF to host international matches.
Kamambo said they sent a member from Zimbabwean embassy in South Africa to represent them at a meeting with SAFA and South Africa officials over the issue.
“We had initially communicated Orlando Stadium as the venue for our home match against Algeria but we have been advised that it is no longer available.
“We had engaged SAFA who will then market our game if the agreement is reached. We had to send a representative and we are yet to know on the way forward,” said Kamambo.
However, there are fears that the South African government is likely to turn down Zimbabwe from playing their match across the Limpopo.
Sources at Zifa yesterday said Zifa were already looking for other alternatives with Zambia coming into the picture.
Kamambo’s delegation even indicated that they have put Zambia on hold should they fail to get a venue in South Africa.
“The situation is now tricky; remember we are playing Algeria. There are chances that the South African government will turn down the arrangement because SAFA are representing ZIFA.
“Algeria has the highest number of coronavirus and to allow their national team to come and most probably travel with fans might trigger criticism from their citizens.
“Again, it should be known that South Africa have a home match two days before and would it be prudent to have two high profile matches in the country with these issues of coronavirus,” said the source.
Zifa, the source said, are ready to compromise and play behind closed doors though they were looking forward to cover some of the expenses with gate takings. H-Metro