Sports

Sports Ministry calls for help to renovate Independence Stadium

Summary

The Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service (MSYNS) has called on public and private enterprises to donate money for the rehabilitation of the Independence Stadium in Olympia, Windhoek.Speaking during a breakfast stakeholder engagement on Friday …

The Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service (MSYNS) has called on public and private enterprises to donate money for the rehabilitation of the Independence Stadium in Olympia, Windhoek.

Speaking during a breakfast stakeholder engagement on Friday here, MSYNS Executive Director Audrin Mathe said the stadium that was built in the late 1950s was never fit to host any international events because of various reasons.

He said the renovation of the stadium is not only to cater for the bidding of the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament which Namibia and Botswana have expressed interest in, but for the national football team, the Brave Warriors who are currently using South Africa as their home ground.

“The stadium has never had individual seats (bucket seats), the VIP parking area is deemed unable to cater for International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) standards and the VIP area is too small to accommodate the requisite number of delegates for international matches,” Mathe explained amongst other things.

He further added that FIFA says the media room is small for international games, while the pitch entry and exit point for the players are currently standing at 2.2 metres high, while the Confederation of African Football requires it to be 4.4 metres high.

“The other requirement by CAF is the separation of the entrances by VIPs and media personalities as they currently share a single one. If we win the bid, the CAF president alone has more than 50 guests and currently, our VIP area cannot accommodate that number,” said Mathe.

The pitch itself needs to be upgraded while the spectator parking does not meet the ratio of cars-to-stadium capacity.

Mathe said while the government had made N.dollars 50 million available, that was half the required N.dollars 98 million for these upgrades.

The Independence Stadium currently has a 25 000-sitting capacity, and if the AFCON bid is successful, it would need to be upgraded to 45 000.

Several industry captains and leaders of State-Owned Enterprises attended the event with Imms Mulunga, who is chairperson of the Chief Executives Forum and Managing Director of NAMCOR pledging N.dollars 1 million from his company while several others promised to support the initiative.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency