Namibia may have to pull out of WC 2010

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With the Sam Nujoma Stadium currently not available, since its grass turf is being replaced by an artificial turf, Namibia only has the Windhoek Independence Stadium available for its international matches, but a Fifa inspection team last year announced that it was not fit to host international matches.

The Namibia Football Association and the Ministry of Sport are trying to find a solution to the problem, but a real possibility now exists that Namibia will have to play its home matches in a neighbouring country, or might have to withdraw from the World Cup qualifiers altogether.

A NFA spokesman Barry Rukoro told the Namibian newspaper that the country faces two possibilities now.

“Either we play our home matches in a foreign country or we withdraw totally from the qualifiers for the World Cup 2010.

“At the moment we are working with Fifa and the Government of Namibia to see how we can save the situation, but at the moment I cannot promise much.

“FIFA has communicated to us that if nothing has been done to the Independence Stadium, then Namibia will have to play its home matches in a third country, just like any other African country under the same conditions,” he added.

Rukoro said if that was the case, Namibia might have to withdraw completely from the World Cup qualifiers.

“Unfortunately for us, we are not even sure if we can afford to play in a neighbouring country.

“Apart from losing your home-ground advantage, it is also much more expensive to play in a foreign country.

“You have to put people out there to make sure that the logistics are right - they must be there well before the match takes place, they must be there afterwards to clear up, they must come back to Namibia and go back again for the away match, so it's quite an expensive exercise.

“Just the fact that Namibia has no facilities to host a Fifa international match is an international embarrassment," he added.

According to Rukoro, the Ministry of Sport had been informed about the findings in time to do something about them, but the Director of Sport, Vetumbuavi Veii, disputes this.