Stadia Crisis Worries Mapeza As Warriors Discover 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Opponents
Former Warriors coach Norman Mapeza says the issue of stadiums needs to be addressed before the start of the FIFA World Cup 2026 African Qualifiers to ensure that the Warriors play their home matches at home.
The FC Platinum coach, who was the last national team coach before FIFA suspended Zimbabwe from international football in early 2022, when he took to the Warriors to the 2021 AFCON finals in Cameroon, said the country’s stadium crisis worries him.
Speaking ahead of his side’s Castle Lager Premier Soccer League game against Yadah at Mandava Stadium on Saturday, Mapeza said:
I’m still worried if you look at our stadiums issue at the moment. I understand the games will be played in November.
I was reading the paper today (yesterday) and our Minister of Sport (Kirsty Coventry) said maybe within the next three or four weeks, the National Sports Stadium will be done.
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So it means maybe the bucket seats will be there because it will be unfortunate for us to get the reprieve but we end up relocating to South Africa to play our World Cup qualifiers there.
People want to watch football, look at the support the cricket team was getting. We also need that type of support in our football.
The stadia issue needs to be fixed first then maybe we can start saying: “We are back in it now.”
But for the time being, it’s still a 50-50 situation. We are in, but where are we going to play the football?
But apart from that, I think everybody is happy, we are all excited that we have been given the reprieve and we just hope everything goes well for us.
Zimbabwe were placed in Group C in the 2026 FIFA World Cup African qualifiers in the draw held in the Ivory Coast on Thursday.
The group also has Nigeria, South Africa, Benin, Rwanda and Lesotho.
The group winners will automatically qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which will be co-hosted by the United States and Mexico.
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