THE president of the Namibia Football Association Robert Shimooshili says Namibian football is bound to benefit soon from Africa and world football’s leadership following successful talks at the Afcon finals in the Ivory Coast.
Shimooshili held talks with Fifa president Gianni Infantino, CAF president Patrice Motsepe and CAF secretary general Veron Mosengo-Omba, as well as Cosafa president Artur de Almeida e Silva at the official opening of the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Abidjan on Saturday.
“It was very interesting and they are very willing to assist Namibia in terms of preparation when we are ready to host a tournament of this nature. They are very friendly and offered their assistance and one can see that the economy can really be boosted by tournaments such as these,” he said.
“It was really a good experience and we learnt a lot as the Namibian delegation and I’m not regretting that I allowed members of the NFA to come here, as well as myself. It’s very important and vital to see Namibia coming here to experience this and to have this exposure. I guarantee you there are not many years to come for Namibia to host a similar tournament and we will invest our knowledge and our skills which we acquire here on how to do it,”he added.
“We met the CAF president Patrice Motsepe and the secretary general Mr Veron and we talked a lot, related to the assistance that Namibia needs so that the Namibian football leadership can be supported together with our government to take our football forward. In terms of grassroots development for men and women, and a very important thing, infrastructure, facility wise,”he said.
“The issue of our senior team playing outside the country is well known and it is also a concern to them. We reached a collective consensus on how to assist the country, where are we going to get the money. Because even the Namibian government is now committed to upgrading the Independence Stadium but that is not enough and we have no doubt that the Namibian government can also upgrade the Sam Nujoma Stadium,” he said.
“But we need at least two very modern stadia – category three CAF requirement stadia in any of our other regions and then we can talk. Then if we have the facilities we will be able to host CAF tournaments with these four stadia,” he added.
Shimooshili however said they also needed assistance from the private sector to raise funds.
“We have PST Bet here with us and we have to appreciate them, they have Namibian football at heart, and they are willing to assist and give their input, they are willing to give back as far as their business is concerned. And with them being here with us they can also see for themselves what we are experiencing, so it will be easier.
Shimooshili said he discussed infrastructure development with Infantino and Motsepe.
“We also discussed infrastructure with dr Motsepe as well as president Infantino andhere we are referring to stadia as well as football offices. We only have one soccer house in Windhoek, but none of our regional members have offices, they do not have facilities where they can administer and manage football. They are using their houses and their cars to administer and manage football which is very embarassing, we can not allow that,”he said.
“They are willing to assist and they understand our concerns, something which is not being experienced in other countries, neither Angola, or Mozambique or Botswana or SA, or even here in the Ivory Coast. Now we can see what it’s all about so we will also try to generate our own resources. We have to engage all the related stakeholders, and we have to be united in order to win the hearts of these two federations,” he added.
Shimooshili also held fruitful talks with Cosafa president Artur de Almeida e Silva.
“We also met with the Cosafa president and they are also willing to assist Namibia. They assured us that their door is open, in order for us to collaborate and get the necessary assistance so that we can be at the same level as any other Cosafa country, like any other CAF member or Fifa member,” he said.
“It looks like Namibia is a bit far behind, so we have to act. They gave a commitment that our action must be more than our words. They love our constitution which was recently amended and on top of that they also love our manifesto which we gave to the directorate of sport which is in line with their vision and mission. Our commitment towards youth development is what president Infantino loved the most and he committed to assist Namibia,” he added.
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