The Brave Warriors will for the first time in history play their upcoming World Cup qualifiers away from home as the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) rules that the Sam Nujoma stadium is not fit for international football anymore.
The Namibia Football Association (NFA) is also fined $6,000 USD for lack of technical facilities in the stadium and this should be settled within seven days from 21 April 2021.
Confirming the letter from CAF, NFA Secretary General Franco Cosmos states that the humiliating situation can only get worse if the said stadium or any other is not updated as soon as possible for Namibia to play international games at home.
“ CAF got the report from the match officials who inspected the Sam Nujoma 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”.
Cosmos adds the FA now must cough up the fine and engage the soon to be appointed interim coach of the Brave Warriors on alternative venue for the World Cup qualifiers that starts in June 2021.
“ The Emergency Committee will on Tuesday decide who can lead us during the upcoming matches until such time that our recruitment process for a substantive coach is finalized. So, with the coach, we will decide and identify alternative venue outside the country for the next games.
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”, pleads Cosmos.
CAF explains that the stadium infractions were viewed in the CAF Match Command Center (MCC) and reported by the designated CAF match officials and included (a)Lack of multiple CAF stadium requirements and (b) Poor artificial pitch which requires replacement; (c) Inadequate and poor Teams and officials benches; (d) No fixed individual spectator seats in all sectors in the stadium; (e) Dressing rooms need to be modern and of international standard; (f) Media and medical facilities need to be upgraded and (g) Stadium need general improvement and upgrade work.
In the race to the Qatar 2022 World Cup, Namibia is in Group H with Senegal, Togo, and Congo-Brazzaville with only the group winner progressing to the third and final round of the world cup qualifiers. They host Congo between 5-8 June and the visit Togo a week later, 11-15 June. The qualifiers will then resume in September and the Warriors will visit group favorites Senegal, 1-4 September and then host them, 5-9 September. Brazzaville will be the next venue as they visit Congo between 6-9 October and then return home to host Togo between 11-12 October.