AS Bulawayo prepares to host the African Union Sports Council Region V Under-20 Youth Games, the Bulawayo City Council has thrown its weight behind the country’s bid to host the African Cup of Nations.
If Zimbabwe wins the bid, more infrastructure could be developed in preparation for the tournament.
Bulawayo has seen the improvement of a number of sporting facilities in preparation for the Youth Games which will be held from December 5 to 14.
White City, Barbourfields and Luveve stadiums are some of the venues where the Youth Games will be played and that could be developed further if the country is awarded the right to host the games.
Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze wrote to acting town clerk Sikhangele Zhou and mayor Martin Moyo on September 23 to have them sign the host city agreement.
“Zimbabwe is bidding to host the 2017 African Cup of Nations following Libya’s withdrawal as hosts of the tournament,” read the letter which was tabled before councillors the next day.
“Libya’s withdrawal in August 2014 was occasioned by the security situation prevailing in the North African State.
“The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has since invited fresh bids from member associations and Zimbabwe is among the bidding nations.
“Bulawayo and Harare have been chosen as the host cities and the government through the Sport, Arts and Culture ministry has requested the host cities to sign the Host City Agreement forms.
“In view of time limitations and also considering the potential benefits to the city such as state-of-the-art infrastructure as well as improved economic activity during the games, the acting town clerk (Zhou) and His Worship, the mayor (Martin Moyo) had signed the agreement on council’s behalf.”
Zifa submitted the bid to host the African showpiece on September 30 and will battle against six other countries — Algeria, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya and Sudan.