Amaan Stadium to be World Cup stopover
The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar (SMZ) has plans in hand to attract some of the 2010 World Cup teams to use Amaan Stadium for their practise sessions en-route to South Africa.
The stadium is now under refurbishment to attain international standards with a view of making it a useful stopover for those national teams that will qualify to feature in next year’s World Cup championships.
Zanzibar’s Minister for Information, Culture and Sports Ali Juma Shamhuna said the move would benefit Zanzibar in terms of tourism revenue and soccer promotion.
The stadium, which was constructed in early seventies by Zanzibar founder president Abeid Amani Karume, is under refurbishment costing $11 million.
The Chinese Government is footing the bill for the facelift and other repairs to modernise it.
Shamhuna said beside tourism revenue and soccer promotion, Zanzibar would also benefit through its coaches who would learn new tactics from world-class ones.
The minister, who also dons as the Deputy Chief Minister, would not specify teams earmarked to tour Zanzibar ahead of the World Cup, the first to be played in African soil since its inauguration in 1930.
He said other local stadiums that are also planned to attract World Cup teams include Dar es Salaam’s National Stadium and Mwanza’s CCM Kirumba.
However, while the National Stadium is ready for use by any team as of now, CCM Kirumba need additional face lift and modernisation to meet FIFA approved standards.
Should the plan work, we hope Zanzibar would stand to benefit through its tourism coffers and soccer technically, said Shamhuna.
The minister also said Pemba’s Gombani Stadium will be refurbished and FIFA has agreed to donate $400,000 for the project.
The minister blasted Zanzibar Football Association for irresponsibility in running the soccer administration in the Isles.
He leveled accusations to ZFA for poor administration that saw two of its flag bearers in continental championships Mundu FC and Miembeni crashing out at early stages.
The minister said ZFA needs to work hard to promote soccer in the Isles including to match its Premier League with FIFA calendar.
The Isles Government will be responsible for infrastructure development and sports policy declarations.
The Government has been donating 20 million shillings on annual basis to assist teams that are featuring in CAF club tournaments.
- SOURCE: Guardian