AMH is an independent media house free from political ties or outside influence. We have four newspapers: The Zimbabwe Independent, a business weekly published every Friday, The Standard, a weekly published every Sunday, and Southern and NewsDay, our daily newspapers. Each has an online edition.

  • Marketing
  • Digital Marketing Manager: tmutambara@alphamedia.co.zw
  • Tel: (04) 771722/3
  • Online Advertising
  • Digital@alphamedia.co.zw
  • Web Development
  • jmanyenyere@alphamedia.co.zw

Zifa take Warriors to Joburg

Norman Mapeza

THE Warriors will “host” Lesotho in South Africa for their next 2026 World Cup home qualifier early next month after the Zifa normalisation committee settled for Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg for the crucial clash.

The “hosting” of the match in South Africa comes after government once again failed on its promise to rehabilitate the National Sports Stadium to meet the required Confederation of African Football (Caf) standards.

Sports minister Kirsty Coventry last year assured the nation that the facility will be renovated and be ready in time for the Warriors to play the match against the Crocodiles on June 7 at the National Sports Stadium.

However, not much work has been done to spruce up the deteriorating National Sports Stadium since then, leaving the Zifa normalisation committee with no option but to look for an alternative venue outside the country.

The committee yesterday announced through their official social media channels that the Warriors will be at “home” against Lesotho at the Orlando Stadium.

Kick off is 6pm.

Four days later, Zimbabwe will face off with South Africa in an away match which has been scheduled for the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.

The match will start at 9pm.

The Warriors played their last home match against Nigeria in Rwanda where they had also faced the hosts in their first group match of the campaign.

They managed to pick two points from the two clashes which were overseen by coach Baltemar Brito who has since left the job.

Zifa are currently in search of the Warriors coach after advertising for the vacant position this week.

Zimbabwe are second from the bottom in Group C of the 2026 Fifa World Cup African qualifiers which also has Benin.

The National Sports Stadium was condemned in 2019 to host international matches.

At the time, Caf said a number of areas of the stadium needed to be looked at for it to meet international standards.

These included the installation of bucket seats made of unbreakable and non-inflammable material, modern electronic turnstiles and automated systems and the setting up of a functional venue operations centre with a good overview of the stadium equipped with CCTV monitors for security purposes.

Caf also demanded the refurbishment of changing rooms and the upgrading of the B Arena in line with Caf training field infrastructure requirements.

But three years on, very little has been done by the government to renovate the stadium to meet the Caf and Fifa standards despite Coventry’s assurances.

In fact, the stadium has deteriorated further with the playing surface suffering from neglect.

Related Topics