‘We will continue spending a lot of money outside’ – Uirab

Fifa normalisation committee chairman Bisey Uirab. File photo

Fifa normalisation committee (NC) chairman Bisey Uirab says they will continue spending a lot of money outside the country for Namibia’s Brave Warriors home matches.

Speaking to Desert Radio recently on the Brave Warriors’ qualification for next year’s Afcon showdown, including the Fifa World Cup qualifying matches, Uirab said the NC will continue injecting funds into the economies of foreign countries.

“I am not very hopeful that we will have the stadiums ready by January next year. My realistic view is maybe towards the end of next year.

“That is when we will maybe have facilities ready for local games. Unfortunately, we will have to spend a lot of money to play our games outside the country.”

He said playing home matches outside the country is not a good thing for Namibia, because the nation is denied the privilege and right to watch games on home turf.

“That is what we have for now, and we need to collaborate with the government and all other key stakeholders and the private sector to come on board. It will be a great privilege to have national teams playing at home.”

He said the NC is extremely happy and proud of the Brave Warriors’ qualification for the continental spectacle, adding it’s a sign that Namibia is no longer a “whipping team”.

“We are ready to face the best in Africa, we have prepared the team and they have shown what they can do. What now remains is for us as the nation to rally behind the team.

“Let us help them prepare thoroughly so they are not only participants in the upcoming Afcon championship, but also serious competitors, and will win some games and progress beyond the group stages,” he said.

Uirab said the tight schedule facing the Brave Warriors, such as the 2026 Fifa World Cup qualification and Cosafa Cup, will be used as preparation for the Afcon competition.

He called on Namibians to start saving and travel in huge numbers to Ivory Coast to support the team.

“That is what the other nations are doing on the continent and globally as nations rally behind their national teams at world cup or continental games.”

Uirab said it is a good sign that the NC’s work, done in a year and a half, is starting to yield fruit in terms of Namibian football, and Africa can now see that Namibia is no more that child pushed to the back, but is able to compete against the best on the continent.

Meanwhile, former Brave Warriors head coach Rusten Mogane said looking at the team’s international fixtures, more investment is needed to have a successful campaign in Ivory Coast, and with the expansion of the Fifa 2026 World Cup team, Namibia, like any other country on the continent, stands an equal chance to make history and qualify for the global football showdown.

“Let us forget about the negatives and focus on the positives. We know that financially the government has many priorities, but this qualification, including the world cup qualifying matches, warrants nothing but commitment from both the government and the private sector.”

He said the reason the Brave Warriors do not progress beyond the group stages is because there is no serious financial investment to incentivise players.

Mogane said a lot of work lies ahead for the Brave Warriors in terms of preparation to be competitive and to truly showcase Namibian talent.

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