Local football governing body, Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has announced that the Warriors’ Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Algeria on the 16th of November will not be open to supporters in line with Covid-19 social distancing regulations.
The match is set to be played at the National Sports Stadium (NSS) after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) granted a temporary approval for use of the giant stadium.
Caf had earlier condemned the country’s stadiums saying they did not meet international standards.
In a statement, Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela said while the continental mother body gave the greenlight for use of NSS, renovations will have to continue.
“In granting the temporary approval, CAF indicated that they are charmed by Zimbabwe’s efforts, but the continental football authority underscored that renovations must continue until the stadium is quickly brought to required standard.
“Consequently, our Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Algeria scheduled for 16 November will be played at the National Sports Stadium. Due to the heinous covid-19 pandemic, match planning is being done based on playing the game in an empty stadium,” said Gwesela
The Warriors last played at the NSS on 13 November 2019 in a goalless draw against Botswana in the opening AFCON qualifier.
ZIFA has expressed gratitude to the government’s swift action to stop the grim possibility of playing home matches on foreign soil.