Deplorable Sam Nujoma to cost City N$20 million
By Michael Uugwanga
AFTER recent reports that the Sam Nujoma Stadium is not fit to host any international matches, the City of Windhoek has said that it will cost the municipality N$20 million to upgrade the stadium after the Namibia Football Association (NFA) was last week told by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) that the stadium is not fit for matches.
This is after CAF got the report from match officials who inspected the stadium during the Brave Warriors Africa Cup of Nations qualifier match against Guinea last month, and as a result the NFA was also slapped with a U$6 000 (about N$84 000) fine.
The move from CAF also means that the NFA will have to look at other alternatives for the Brave Warriors to play their international matches outside the country just a month before Africa’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers start in June.
Sam Nujoma Stadium situated in Katutura has an artificial turf and holds 10 300 spectators. It was inaugurated in 2005 and it is named after the founding president Sam Nujoma.
Speaking to Confidente Sport to elaborate on the current poor state of the stadium, City of Windhoek’s corporate communications, marketing and public participation officer, Harold Akwenye said that the capital expenditure request for funding to upgrade the stadium was rejected.
“We believe that the Sam Nujoma Stadium is not in an overall poor state. However, the artificial turf has reached the end of its life span and needs to be removed and replaced. The only way that this (upgrade) would be possible will be with the approval of capital budgets for an amount of around N$20 million. Unfortunately, CAPEX requests of the past three years in this regard were rejected.
“The sub-base, rubber fillings, and geo-textile layer are sensitive to pressure and have unfortunately been negatively affected by frequent traffic on the turf in the form of regular events, combined with a lack of periodic rest periods. The stadium’s draining systems also need maintenance repairs,” he said.
Akwenye also said that the city previously engaged with the NFA to seek funding from CAF and FIFA to upgrade the stadium but that fell on deaf ears.
It is still not clear to whether there will be another request for funds for the upgrade of the stadium even though Akwenye said that they will look at other alternatives of finding a way to fix the arena.