Ambitious plan revealed by Zimbabwe’s tourism minister to host Fifa World Cup in 2034

Published on : Saturday, July 19, 2014

Zimbabwes-tourism-ministerZimbabwe’s tourism minister Walter Mzembi has disclosed an ambitious plan for his country to host the 2034 Fifa football word cup and has pledged to raise the issue in cabinet. He describes himself as a ‘visionary’ who is planting trees for future generations and claims Zimbabwe already has five Fifa-standard football stadiums where matches could be played.

Walter Mzembi publicized his “dream” at the conclusion of the tournament in Brazil last week, adding that Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, had encouraged him in his plans.


Mr. Mzembi said Zimbabwe was “changing and rebranding” and would be “prosperous” within a few years. Roads would be rebuilt, Harare International Airport would once again buzz with foreign airlines, and the country’s massive foreign debt would be paid off. He added, “If Zimbabwe was going to remain as it is now, I might as well dig my grave.”


He suggested that Zimbabwe could share the hosting with neighbouring countries. “For about 40 per cent of games, we would use South Africa’s World Cup 2010 stadiums, which are now underused. I have spoken about this to my colleague in Namibia. Botswana would be involved and Zambia and Mozambique,” he said. “All these countries have stadiums within a 90-minute flight from Harare.”


The Warriors, Zimbabwe’s national team, have never qualified to play in a world cup match, and the country’s football association has been in chaos for many years over allegations that it was complicit in fixing games involving its teams in Asia.


The country jointly hosted the Cricket World Cup in 2003 but lost the rights to host the Africa Cup of Nations in 2000 due to insufficient preparations.


Brazil expended an estimated $14 billion hosting the most recent Soccer World Cup and it is not clear how Zimbabwe would raise the money to do the same. The country’s economy remains in the doldrums after land seizures and disastrous fiscal policy decisions by the ruling party sparked hyperinflation and a collapse in its crucial agricultural sector. It is also the subject of economic sanctions by the US and EU.



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