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Zimbabwe to host World Cup qualifiers in SA

Zimbabwe is set to host the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers at one of the top stadiums in South Africa, FARPost can reveal.

The neighbouring country does not have a CAF-approved stadium, as it is working to revamp the National Sports Stadium, which is based in the capital, Harare.

The stadium was banned from hosting international matches after several visits by CAF inspectors. They red-flagged several areas at the deteriorating facility, including the lack of individual seats.

CAF stated that seats for spectators must be individual, fixed, numbered and separated from one another. They should be made of an unbreakable and non-flammable material and have a backrest of a minimum height of 30 centimetres.

The issue of electronic turnstiles and venue operations centre [VOC] also contributed to the ban.

CAF said the B Arena of the stadium should be renovated in line with CAF training field infrastructure requirements.


Zimbabwe is set host the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers at one of the top stadiums South Africa
The Warriors of Zimbabwe celebrating. Photo by ZIFA

As a result, they were forced to play their home match against Nigeria in Rwanda at Huye Stadium during the first round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

This time around they face Lesotho and Bafana Bafana on the 7 and 11 June respectively in Group C matches.

The Warriors of Zimbabwe will use Orlando Stadium as their home against Lesotho on the 7th of June. Bafana Bafana will then host the Warriors four days later.


Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Football Association is struggling to find a new coach to lead the Warriors. The head coach position became vacant when the association decided against renewing Baltermar Brito’s short-term contract last year.

Brito presided over the first round of qualifiers against Rwanda and Nigeria, where they settled for draws.

Former Chippa United coach Norman Mapeza held the fort during the latest international break on an interim basis.

So far, a number of names have been thrown in the hat, including Kaitano Tembo and Mapeza. However, former Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates coach Kosta Papic appears to be leading the race.

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