Zambia ready for AfCON

Sat, 04 Feb 2017 12:49:16 +0000

Govt says Heroes Stadium in fine shape to host Egypt, Guinea, Mali and Zambia

GOVERNMENT says it is impressed with the renovation works at the National Heroes Stadium as Zambia braces to host the prestigious Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in the next three weeks.

Speaking after conducting a tour of the stadium, Minister of Works and Supply, Matthew Mkhuwa, said Zambia was ready to host the tournament despite renovations at the stadium still being in progress.

Mkhuwa said the stadium is in good shape to host the youth Africa Cup which kicks off on 26th February.

“I’m very convinced myself that the stadium is in good shape, well looked after. The pitch is looking good, the dressing rooms are in perfect condition and as far as we are concerned the pitch is ready to host the tournament.

“Our colleagues in the Ministry of Sports have done a good job and I can assure the people of Zambia that we are ready to host the tournament,”  Mkhuwa said.

The minister however called on Zambians to take care of the stadium instead of vandalizing it during the matches.

“People should take ownership of this property. We need to look after this facility.

‘‘We need to come up with ways on how this facility can be able to raise income on its own so that we can be able to maintain this facility. I have engaged the Ministry of Sports on how we can raise money from this facility so that it can be self-sustaining. We will also engage a specialist so that they can advise us on how best we can do that,” he said.

And Lusaka Province minister Japhen Mwakalombwe emphasized the need for Zambians to look after the stadium as it provides employment for many people.

“As Government we have a plan and as a provincial department we will work with other Government departments to insure that the tournament is a success. There will be nothing that will disturb the smooth running of the tournament,” he said.

And Gibson Muyaule, chief sports development officer at the Ministry of Sports, Youth and Child Development, said all is set for the stadium to host this year’s crucial tournament.

“We have procured all the furniture required according to CAF recommendations; we have also procured the equipment for anti-doping.

“We have done the pitch which is ready to host the tournament. So for National Heroes, we are set to host the AfCON.

Right now we are just mowing grass around the stadium,” Muyaule said.

Teams are expected to start arriving for the tournament before the 20th of February and Muyaule said the ministry will ensure that all the works at the stadium are done before the 17th of this month.

Zambia will host the two-week youth football championships with Heroes’ Stadium hosting Group A matches involving Zambia, Egypt, Guinea and Mali.


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