Ndandi-Ndaitwah sweet-talks Brave Warriors 

The Brave Warriors were invited to dinner by vice-president Netumbo Nandi Ndaitwah on Tuesday. Photo: Enoke Kaumba

Vice-president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah treated the homeless Brave Warriors to dinner on Tuesday, promising the team a state-of-the-art home in the near future.

She assured the 2024 Cosafa Cup runners-up at the event at the old State House in Windhoek that they could count on her to end their exile.

The vice president said playing home matches abroad without supporters would soon be a thing of the past.

Namibia has been banned from hosting international football matches due to the country’s substandard and dilapidated sport facilities.

The Brave Warriors have called South Africa home for the past four years, with the Brave Gladiators and junior national teams staging their home matches in the countries they face – a costly undertaking.

“The government, we owe you a lot. And, I will say it straight: It’s unfortunate that you are at a point where your fans cannot see you playing,” said Nandi Ndaitwah, who will vie for Namibia’s Presidency in November.

She said she received the programme “leading to the start of renovations at Independence Stadium” last week.

The Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service last month blamed the hold-up on the flawed procurement process.

The stadium’s revamp costs are projected to rise above N$1 billion, and many companies have shown interest in taking on the job.

The sport ministry currently has an N$80-million budget, but hopes that upon review it could obtain more funding from the state’s coffers.

“I want to assure you this is going to be something of the past very soon. It’s true that some of the laws we put in place are working against us.

“The money was not a problem. The problem is that when the tender is given to this one, another one complains,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said about the repeated delays in renovating the capital’s Independence Stadium.

“It’s really my hope that . . . by 28 August, the contract should be awarded to a successful bidder, so that the renovation of the stadium would start.

“I’m following this with great interest, because I really want it to be done. This is where I stand.

“That’s what I’m told we have put to this, and the whole government is sitting on it,” said the vice-president, who says she is a lover of sport – especially netball and squash.

“So that’s why I’m not joking, and that’s not a political campaign when I said sport and the creative industry should be added as part of our economic sectors,” she said.

“I put them in a line: agriculture, mining, tourism, fisheries, and then the sport and creative industries. I’m doing my homework.”

At the same occasion, Namibia Football Association executive member Michael Situde said he believes the Brave Warriors could make more history with the added advantage of home support by reaching the 2026 Fifa World Cup.

This event will be jointly staged in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

“We are very proud of these boys, and we are sure we can qualify for the Fifa World Cup,” Sidute said.

“Our next matches are in March next year. We are pleading with the Namibian citizens who are involved in the tendering processes, to please allow the government to move faster so that by January or February the stadiums are ready so the Brave Warriors can face other countries on home soil for the World Cup qualifiers,” he said.

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