Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) and contractors will work throughout the weekend to get Barbourfields Stadium ready for Zifa to take pictures of progress that they will be send to Caf on Tuesday.
Government has joined the local authority to avert a potential disaster of having the Warriors play their 2021 Afcon qualifier against Algeria on foreign soil.
Various departments from BCC have descended on Barbourfields Stadium to refurbish parts of the venue so that it is ready for re-inspection to be done next Saturday.
Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Tinoda Machakaire, who was joined by Principal Director in his Ministry, Benson Dube, buttressed the need to stick to timelines, challenging the local authority to move with “lightning speed” and ensure that the venue meets requisite standards.
Machakaire said after Government released $13 million to BCC for refurbishment of Barbourfields, they expect most of the stuff to be done by Monday.
“I’ll be able to give details after Monday because from the meeting we had, we were told that most of the things would be done oy Monday. I’ll be here again to check progress and make sure what has been agreed on is done. I’m happy with the progress made but they were a bit slow. I’m here to push them to be a bit quicker so that we meet the deadline,” said Machakaire.
Procurement of material needed for Barbourfields was being done yesterday.
Town Clerk, Christopher Dube assured swift procurement.
BCC director of housing and community services, Dictor Khumalo said they will be providing Government with daily updates.
Khumalo reported that they will work throughout the weekend and the old dressing rooms will be converted to first aid rooms for the public.
On the playing field, BCC was advised to approach Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) for additional mowers to have grass trimmed.
Engineers from the local authority reported that they will buy blown-out bulbs for the floodlights as they work on getting lux certificate.
Aluminium goalposts are expected to be in Bulawayo by Wednesday while team benches should have been repainted by end of day on Monday.
Also set for Monday deadline is signage at the stadium, securing of tactical and substitution boards, installation of ventilations and lockers in referees’ rooms.
BCC’s information technology department is expected to have finished internet connectivity on Monday.
Zifa board member Bryton Malandule said: “We are liaising with Caf and we hope they will reconsider Barbourfields. To convince Caf that something is being done to meet the standards, they have demanded that we send pictorial evidence by Tuesday. Inspection will be done on Saturday, March 14 but we need to send those pictures on Tuesday without fail.
“It is pleasing to note that we’ve been assured that by end of day on Monday, most things would have been done,” said Malandule.