Zimbabwe claims National Sports Stadium ready for use

Project engineer Tendai Chiwanza told New Ziana Thursday that the 60,000-seater stadium would be ready to host nations interested in acclimatizing here for the FIFA 2010 World Cup to be held in neighbouring South Africa in mid-2010.

“Sporting activities can now be convened at the venue. Resurfacing of the pitch has been completed, new scoreboards have been put in place and terraces have been repaired as well as bathrooms and administration offices,” he added.

Chiwanza said new drainage and irrigation systems had been installed to maintain the pitch while security systems had been upgraded with the installation of a new closed circuit television (CCTV) system. “The new CCTV is indispensable as it eliminates hooliganism,” he said.

He said the floodlight system had been installed making it possible to play matches in the evenings while the all weather synthetic track had been resurfaced.

The National Sports Stadium was closed in late 2006 to facilitate the refurbishing process but delays such as power cuts and the congested Beira port where the refurbishing supplies came from slowed down the job, which could have been completed earlier.

To date, 10 million USD had been spent on the facelift to make the stadium of world standards.

The stadium was built by the Chinese government and it was officially opened in 1987.
Chinese contractors are also involved in refurbishing the stadium.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) said it was well equipped to offer security during and after the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup for football fans who might visit this country before or after attending the tournament in South Africa.

Speaking at a passing-out parade at Morris Depot here, Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri said the ZRP would work tirelessly to maintain peace and order during the tournament.

“I assure the nation that the ZRP is geared and ready to provide adequate security to both our citizens and visitors during the Word Cup to be hosted by South Africa next year,? said Chihuri, who added that the mandate was in line with the policing theme for the year 2010 “?Your safety and security is our concern”.

He said the ZRP had put in place sound and robust strategies to counter security threats which the soccer tournament was likely to cause, such as smuggling, drug trafficking and terrorism. — NNN-NEW ZIANA