WORKS and Supply Minister, Yamfwa Mukanga has assured Zambians that new stadiums will be constructed within the next two years, ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) which the nation is bidding to host.
Mukanga said the new football infrastructure in Livingstone and Mongu would be constructed before the continental football showpiece in 2019.
He said in an interview in Livingstone that Zambia’s bid to host the AFCON would not be affected as Government was determined to put up new stadiums to add to the two existing structures – Levy Mwanawasa in Ndola and Heroes National in Lusaka.
“The delay to construct the new stadiums won’t affect our bid to host the 2019 AFCON. This is just 2014 and we still have five years more to prepare. We will be able to construct the new sporting facilities within the next two years ahead of the tournament,” he said.
Mukanga said there was need to watch games within the comfort of Zambia as it was a beautiful nation.
“All the new stadiums that have been pronounced to be done will be done. What has delayed construction is that we advertised for them and then concerns of corruption came up and then I stopped the Advert so that we start afresh,” he said.
Mukanga said the Government under the leadership of President Michael Sata would work transparently and give Zambians the best sports infrastructure.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have since appointed a five-member panel to evaluate bids for the 2019 and 2012 AFCON.
Those in the CAF inspection team are Mali’s Amadou Diakite, Adoum Djibrine of Chad, FIFA official Walter Gagg of Switzerland, Paul Bassey of Nigeria and Amr Fahmy, CAF’s AFCON tournament director.
The CAF bid inspectors will visit Ivory Coast and Guinea in April before heading to Algeria and Cameroon in May.
Zambia and DR Congo facilities will be inspected in July.
The CAF executive committee will vote to select the host countries for the 2019 and 2021 AFCON events in September.
Times of Zambia