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CAF Responds to Complaints by Zim and SA in Rwanda WC Qualifiers

Following complaints from Zimbabwe and South Africa regarding the conditions of Huye Stadium during the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers Group C games last month, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has taken action. Both teams, the Warriors and Bafana Bafana, faced challenges on the artificial turf, resulting in injuries to Zimbabwe’s Admiral Muskwe and Marvelous Nakamba, while South Africa had to contend with a water-logged pitch.

In response, CAF has issued an official letter to the Rwanda Football Association, instructing an independent inspection of Huye Stadium’s artificial turf. The letter emphasizes the need for an assessment by an artificial pitch expert to gauge the current state of the pitch for potential use in CAF/FIFA senior A international matches.

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The letter from CAF states, “CAF will undertake an independent inspection of the Huye Stadium conducted by an artificial pitch expert, to assess the current stage of the pitch for use in CAF/FIFA senior A international matches. We underline that the CAF decision will be made based on the status of the stadium and the level of compliance reported at the time of inspection.”

Should the inspection reveal that the artificial grass does not meet the desired quality standards for visiting teams, Huye Stadium could face a ban. In such a scenario, Rwanda would be compelled to find an alternative venue to host their international matches, including the ongoing 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

The move by CAF highlights the importance of ensuring optimal playing conditions for international fixtures and underscores the organization’s commitment to maintaining quality standards across football facilities in the region. The outcome of the inspection will have implications not only for Huye Stadium but also for Rwanda’s hosting capabilities in international competitions.

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