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Govt to renovate and upgrade National Sports Stadium in 2023

Government through the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mthuli Ncube, has announced that the much anticipated renovations of the National Sports Stadium (NSS) in Harare will take place next year (2023).

The development was revealed by Ncube on Thursday during his presentation of the 2023 national budget.

According to the finance minister, an amount of ZWL$1.2 Billion for the rehabilitation and upgrading of sporting facilities in the country has been set aside and the NSS has been listed as a priority.

“With regards to sport and recreation, $1,2 billion has been set aside for the rehabilitation and upgrading of sports facilities and recreational centres, with the aim of modernisation to conform to international standards,” said Ncube.

“Some of the priorities include the National Sport Stadium, Khumalo and Magamba Hockey stadiums and refurbishment of Aquatic Complex swimming pools and general purpose halls.”

This comes two months after the minister of sports Kirsty Coventry in September said the giant sporting facility was going to be revamped by a South African company that did the same work at FNB Stadium and Ellis Park.

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“It’s happening Zimbabwe. National Sports Stadium still has some work to do but our Athletes (and fans of course!) will have a better home. Update from Bulawayo coming soon,” Coventry tweeted.

She further confirmed the news to the parliamentary portfolio committee saying her together with her administration “Are in the process (of refurbishing facilities). We have engaged a company in South Africa that refurbished Soccer City as well as Ellis Park as well as did the entire bid for South Africa to host the Fifa 2010 (World Cup).

“They are coming in a consultancy to oversee the entire project. It is moving slowly. There has been some sabotage that’s been happening.

“The teams that I sent out to go and look into other stadiums in the region have come back with photographic proof of stadiums which do not have seats which do not have lighting, in terrible conditions that have been sanctioned to be fine to play,” she added.

“But our stadium which has lighting, maybe no bucket seats is not. But again it comes back to what the former Zifa board has been doing, the sabotage of calling for your own country to not be able to host games when countries in the region are playing in sanctioned grounds that have way less.

“The question for me is why Zimbabwe has been treated unfairly.”

NSS has been banned several times by the world football governing body, FIFA and the continental football mother body, CAF to host international matches due to its deteriorating state.