FAZ REVEALS THAT CHIPOLOPOLO WOULD HOST THE 2026 FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS GAMES AT HOME.
The possibility of Zambia hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers at home remains in the balance, with the nation’s football authorities and government under pressure to meet the stringent requirements set by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Recently, CAF released a list of approved stadiums for hosting international matches, and Zambia’s Levy Mwanawasa Stadium and Heroes Stadium initially fell short of meeting these international standards, raising concerns about the hosting of World Cup Qualifiers on home soil.
During the “Dressing Room” show on ZNBC TV 2, Sydney Mugala, the Communication Manager for the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ), shed light on the ongoing efforts to address these challenges:
“We were given the list of things to work on by CAF, and hopefully we can work on the required improvements to meet their criteria before the next list of fit stadiums to host games is released by CAF,” explained Mr. Mugala.
CAF’s criteria and standards for stadiums hosting international football matches are rigorous, encompassing various aspects of infrastructure and facilities. With the clock ticking and the World Cup Qualifiers slated to begin in November, there’s a sense of urgency to make the necessary improvements to these stadiums.
Mr. Mugala emphasized the importance of meeting CAF’s requirements, stating, “The possibility of the Chipolopolo Boys playing their home games away from home is very real if we don’t work on the required improvements specified by CAF.”
The Zambian government, in collaboration with FAZ, now faces the challenge of expediting enhancements to Levy Mwanawasa Stadium and Heroes Stadium to ensure they meet the stringent criteria set by CAF. Failure to do so could force the Chipolopolo Boys to play their home games in other countries, a scenario both fans and officials hope to avoid.
Zambia’s 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers campaign is set to kick off with a home encounter against Congo Brazzaville in November, making the race against time to meet CAF’s requirements all the more crucial for the nation’s football aspirations.