By Ricky Zililo
Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has intensified work at Barbourfields Stadium in an effort to make the facility Caf compliant to host international matches.
Caf further condemned Barbourfields Stadium and the National Sports Stadium after inspections last month.
A visit by Chronicle Sport to Barbourfields Stadium yesterday showed that the local authority has not been deterred by Caf’s adverse report and deployed a team to work on maintenance of the venue during the Covid-19 lockdown.
BCC workers were busy trimming the grass, with topsoil being applied close to the technical benches where lawn has been planted after that patch of the pitch was condemned by the continental football governing body.
They have also plucked out weeds from certain areas of the pitch.
In its report, Caf inspectors Derek Blackense and former Bafana Bafana legend Mark Fish, who were in the country before the lockdown last month, indicated that special attention should be given to the playing pitch and BCC seem to be addressing that.
The dressing rooms that inspectors indicated need attention were locked, but the local authority said it had installed additional water closets, ceilings, bench cushions, mirrors, tactical boards, steel lockers, desks and chairs, refrigerators, power points, Wi-Fi, signage and air conditioners.
“Work on changing rooms was completed, however, in terms of Caf requirements they were deemed small. As such a complete redesign and reconstruction of the change rooms is required. Designs are almost complete and execution is pending,” said BCC.
Caf made it clear that bucket seats are mandatory for both Barbourfields and National Sports stadiums if they are to convince the continental body to clear them for the 2021 Afcon qualifiers and 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
Barbourfields Stadium, according to Caf, needs considerable renovation works, ranging from the outer part of the stadium to the dressing rooms.
BCC says partitioning of the doping and medical rooms as well as tiling of all rooms and installation of medical beds and refrigerators has been done.
The newscrew was restricted from assessing progress at the media facilities that also failed to meet the requirements.
Barbourfields Stadium can get another Caf reassessment should the local inspection team, the First Instance Body (FIB), give the facility the thumbs up during their review set for next month.
Dates reserved for another assessment by Caf are between June 15 and July 15. The Chronicle