With the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers set for next month, secretary general of the Namibia Football Associations (NFA) Franco Cosmos yesterday said they are currently in talks with various authorities in South Africa, with the hope of securing stadiums that can host the Brave Warriors’ World Cup qualifying matches.
Namibia suffered a huge blow earlier this year when the Confederation of African Football and International Federation of Association Football (Fifa) declared the Sam Nujoma Stadium as substandard and not fit to host games of such magnitude. This also saw the NFA being fined about N$85 800 for using the dilapidated Sam Nujoma Stadium for international matches.
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.
Cosmos told New Era Sport they are now looking at hosting their games in South Africa, as it is closer to home and will assist them in cutting costs on flights and other logistical matters.
“It’s a directive that was given to us by Fifa; for now, we have to play our matches outside the country, and we are currently in talks with relevant stakeholders in South Africa for us to host our games there,” Cosmos said.
“The most preferable would be a stadium in Johannesburg. For now, we are waiting on prices of various stadiums to be sent to us, then we take it from there.”
Their search for stadiums in South Africa follows the main stakeholder, the Windhoek Municipality, admitting early last month that it does not have funds to revamp the stadium for the matches.
City of Windhoek corporate communications officer Harold Akwenye told this publication yesterday nothing concrete was discussed with the relevant stakeholders. “No update yet; we were supposed to meet with the NFA but that did not happen. We are still going to meet with the NFA and line ministry for us to find a way forward pertaining to this issue,” he added.