The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has slapped the Namibia Football Association (NFA) with a hefty fine of about N$85 800 for using the dilapidated Sam Nujoma stadium for international matches.
CAF has since declared the stadium substandard and no longer fit for use.
Besides fining the local football federation, CAF further instructed the NFA to find alternative venues for all national teams’ international matches until the stadium is repaired and upgraded to international standards as outlined in CAF’s policies around stadium safety and standards.
CAF has given the NFA seven days to settle the fine, with the counting of seven days dating back to 21 April 2021.
This means the NFA will have to move fast to try and secure available international standard stadiums in neighbouring countries for the Brave Warriors’ 2022 World Cup qualifier matches, starting June this year. It will be the first time the country’s national team will play home matches on foreign soil.
Namibia is in Group H and will fight for a spot at next year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar against continental heavyweights Senegal, Togo and Congo-Brazzaville.
Namibia is set to host Congo between 5-8 June and Senegal between 5-9 September as well as Togo between 11-12 October. They will now have to fine stadiums elsewhere for those encounters.
In its communication to the NFA, CAF explained the Sam Nujoma stadium is substandard and is a far cry from required international stadium standards.
The artificial pitch is totally worn out and needs urgent replacement – and the stadium lacks adequate and safe teams and officials’ benches. CAF also pointed out that the stadium has no fixed individual spectator seats in all areas in the stadium and the dressing rooms need to be modern and of international standard, while the media and medical facilities also required urgent upgrading along with other general improvements to the stadium.
NFA secretary general Franco Cosmos, speaking through the association’s media desk, confirmed that Namibia was fined for the hazardous Sam Nujoma stadium.
“CAF got the report from the match officials who inspected the stadium during our AFCON qualifier against Guinea last month and the Disciplinary Committee has fined us accordingly. We have raised these issues since 2019 and they are not addressed yet. The NFA now must cough up the fine and look for alternative venues for the Brave Warriors’ World Cup upcoming qualifiers. Mind you, this is not just about the Brave Warriors but all our national teams – and this will be so costly and humiliating. We have shared this report with relevant authorities in the country again. These players deserve to play at home.”