Windhoek – The Namibia and Zimbabwe national soccer teams face the unenviable reality of playing their home matches on foreign soil after their stadia were sanctioned by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for not being up to scratch.
Namibia had proposed hosting international matches at the Sam Nujoma Stadium while Zimbabwe had opted for the National Sports Stadium. However, both facilities do not meet CAF standards ahead of FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
The Astroturf at Sam Nujoma Stadium is peeling and the facility has not been upgraded to include the requisite bucket seats that ensure single, designated seating for every fan. Zimbabwe also has the bucket seat deficiency, in addition to being in need of better changing rooms, a modern media centre, and an up-to-standard pitch.
CAF slapped Namibia with a fine of US$6,000 for hosting a match against Guinea in the condemned stadium, while Zimbabwe were fined US$2,000 fine for a related offence.
The stadia have been ruled unfit to host international matches, leaving Namibia and Zimbabwe facing the unwanted possibility of playing their home matches away from home in approved facilities abroad.
Namibia Football Association spokesperson Dan Kamati this week said they were scrambling to find an acceptable solution.