Nam ready for Africa
Windhoek ‑ The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has expressed confidence in Namibia’s ability to host the ninth edition of the African Women’s Championship, a biennial football tournament, to be held from October 11 to 25.
An assessment report from a CAF inspection team led by Molife Oliphant reiterated CAF’s confidence that Namibia can host the football showpiece.
The delegation expressed satisfaction with the hotels that would house the teams and match officials during the tournament.
Apart from hotels, the inspection team also proclaimed training pitches earmarked for the tournament as of acceptable standard.
However, the report called for immediate attention on two grounds earmarked to host the official games ‑ the Sam Nujoma and the Independence stadiums.
“Of minor concern is the state of the two stadiums, namely Independence Stadium and the Sam Nujoma Stadium.
We will have extensive discussions with the stadium owners ‑ the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture and the City of Windhoek ‑ to share CAF’s observations regarding the needed infrastructural improvements at both venues.
At the moment, all indications are that these deliberations will prove very fruitful judging by the willingness displayed by both stakeholders during the inspection visit,” said the Namibian Football President, John Muinjo.
Despite the reservations on the match venues, Muinjo is confident Namibia is ready to welcome Africa to its shores.
“Namibia will be ready to welcome Africa for the October spectacle and I call on local corporates and the nation at large to get behind the tournament in general and specifically the Brave Gladiators as they represent our country gallantly,” he said.
Meanwhile, competition for the available seven spots is intensifying with 14 teams going into the last round of qualifies.
The identity of tournament participants will be known on the weekend of June 8 when the qualifying round ends.
On June 8, the fixtures will be as follows Algeria vs Tunisia, Ethiopia vs Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire vs Equatorial Guinea, Rwanda vs Nigeria, Senegal vs Cameroon, Comoros vs South Africa and Zimbabwe vs Zambia.
Winners of the tournament will go on to represent the continent at the world stage at next year’s Women’s World Cup to be held in Canada.
Nigeria’s Super Falcons have been a dominant force in African women’s football for almost two decades, winning the tournament a record eight times, since its inception in 1991.