ZIMBABWEâ€™S tourism boss Karikoga Kaseke has urged world football governing body Fifa to consider Zimbabwe and other neighbouring countries;
Â as possible co-hosts in order to ease South Africaâ€™s stadia shortage which has put the countryâ€™s rights to host the 2010 soccer World Cup finals under threat.
Kaseke, the chief executive of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, made the proposal at a National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) meeting last week.
“If the issue is really about stadia, then Fifa or South Africa need to look at countries like Zimbabwe,” Kaseke said yesterday. “Here in Zimbabwe we have the National Sports Stadium which meet 85% of Fifa requirements. The remaining 15% is a small fraction which will cost nothing compared to having to build a new stadium or finish a half-complete one.”
He said losing the 2010 World Cup, the first to glow beneath an African sun, will be a catastrophe for the continent. “We as Africa do want to lose the World Cup. It will probably never come back to us again. It will be a very painful decision for Africa. We hope and pray that it will not come to that.”
Kaseke, who is also co-chairman of the 2010 World Cup Zimbabwe taskforce committee, said the whole region could also benefit similarly.
“Its not just Zimbabwe who can benefit,” he said. “The other option will be to look at Zambia, who are building a good stadium, Botswana and Namibia. Itâ€™s not a new thing. Japan and Korea did the same thing in 2004 and it worked.” â€” Staff Writer.