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Page last updated at 12:15 GMT, Monday, 14 April 2008 13:15 UK

Zambia stadium hits cement snag

By Kennedy Gondwe
BBC Sport, Lusaka

Zambia flag

A shortage of cement is hampering the rehabilitation of a stadium earmarked for Zambia's World Cup qualifiers.

With the Independence stadium in Lusaka banned by Fifa, Konkola stadium in northern Zambia is the only other option.

The venue is due to host Chipolopolo's upcoming 2010 African Nations Cup and World Cup qualifiers.

Following the death of 12 fans in a stampede last year, Konkola stadium is currently undergoing renovations.

But work has come to a virtual standstill due to the crippling shortage of cement across Zambia.

BBC Sport understands that the stadium needs at least 1,000 bags of cement for all the work to be done, which includes the construction of new toilets and dressing rooms.

"The biggest problem we have is the lack of cement because as of last week, the people on site only managed to get 100 bags," Football Association of Zambia (Faz) spokesman, Emmanuel Munaile, told BBC Sport.

"The work has not stalled completely but we're not just happy with the pace," Munaile added.

Zambia may be forced to play its home matches on foreign soil - most likely in Zimbabwe - if the Fifa inspection team expected next month gives Konkola stadium the thumps down.

Yet Munaile remains upbeat: "The most important thing is showing Fifa that we're serious and I think we are," he said.

Zambia are grouped together with Togo and Swaziland in their preliminary round of the joint Africa and World Cup qualifiers.

Their first home game is against Swaziland in June.




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