Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) has handed over a fully refurbished David Kaunda stadium to the government in Chapata, Eastern province.
The rehabilitation of the facility which started last year, gobbled about 300,000 United States Dollars.
Officiating at the handover ceremony in Chipata today, Minister of Youth, Sport and Arts, Elvis Nkandu said the government will also commit funds towards the continued upgrading of the facility that can now host international matches.
He said the government plans to transform the stadium to a multipurpose facility.
“We are thankful to FIFA for the support, but as a government we pledge to continue from where FIFA ended. We pledge to dedicate resources to the continued upgrading of the stadium,” he committed.
He also called on other cooperating partners to support the cause, adding that infrastructure development was key to the promotion of sport in the country.
“Good infrastructure does not only promote mass participation but also improvement of sporting activities,” he noted.
The Minister further challenged authorities in charge of Constituency Development Funds (CDF) to consider capturing sporting infrastructure as well.
Meanwhile, FIFA Southern Africa Regional Office Lead David Fani applauded the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) for investing the funds it provided in the development of infrastructure across the country.
He said FIFA is supporting member Associations with funds to develop the sport.
Mr Fani said the world football governing body expects the improved stadium to benefit the football community not only in the province but the country as a whole.
And FAZ president Andrew Kamanga said the completion of the project signifies a giant step in the development of football.
He echoed that the development of football infrastructure was critical to the development of the sport.
Mr Kamanga expressed happiness that the rehabilitation of David Kaunda that started about a year and half ago, has now been completed.
“The rehabilitation of the stadium cost 300,000 United States Dollars, and works were done on the pitch and other physical works including dressing rooms and stands, among others,” he explained.
He further noted that the current state of the stadium allows it to host international matches.
The handover ceremony was also attended by Eastern province Minister Peter, Minister of Agriculture Mtolo Phiri who is also Chipata Central Member of Parliament, Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts Permanent Secretary Chama Fumba and Chipata City Mayor George Mwanza, among others.