The Orlando Stadium in Soweto, South Africa will play host to the Brave Warriors’ 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifying games set for next month.
This follows the Confederation of African Football (CAF) earlier this year declaring the Sam Nujoma Stadium substandard and not fit to host games of such magnitude. The NFA was also fined about N$85 800 for using the dilapidated Sam Nujoma Stadium for international matches.
NFA secretary general, Franco Cosmos yesterday confirmed that the stadium with a capacity of close to 40 000 will be the venue for Namibia’s upcoming qualifiers.
“I can confirm that Orlando Stadium will be the host stadium for our upcoming 2022 Fifa World Cup games set for next month. This was after CAF recently sent inspectors to inspect the Sam Nujoma Stadium, which was declared unfit to stage games,” he said.
Cosmos said CAF suggested various stadiums in South Africa to choose from and after looking at the cost and other logistics, the NFA decided to choose Orlando Stadium because it is closer to home and the price was affordable. “We did submit this to CAF, so we are waiting to get confirmation from them as well,” he said.
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.
The Warriors will face Congo Brazzaville on 1 September, before they take on Togo on 5 September. The Orlando Stadium in the heart of Soweto boasts a rich and proud history that dates back to 1959 when it was originally built. The original ‘Mecca of South African football’ is home to local giants and 1995 CAF Champions League winners, Orlando Pirates.
The stadium hosted the 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa, Kickoff Concert and the 2010 Vodacom SuperRugby competition semifinal and final.
Meanwhile, current Covid-19 rules and regulations in South Africa allow sports to be held behind closed doors only and no spectators will be allowed inside the venue.