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By: Justicia Shipena

Sports minister Agnes Tjogarero says that the money expected from the upcoming financial year budget for the renovation of the Independence Stadium in Windhoek can manage the first phase.

This comes as the finance minister Ipumbu Shiimi announced that the 2022/2023 financial budget would cater to N$50 million towards the renovation of the stadium.

“With this money, we can at least manage the first phase of the renovations,” she told The Villager.

Tjogarero said that the amount also gives a chance for Namibia to bring football back home.

“Okay, maybe the money is not enough yet, but we can start with something. At least we can start the renovations of the Independence stadium now,” she adds.

She added that sports federations could benefit from the N$330 921 for the entire ministry.

“The state in which our youth centres are is not good, and last year federations did not even get anything. Now there is something, I am happy.”

Tjogarero expressed that this brings hope to sports in the country.

“However, with the bureaucracy, this budget is still to be debated upon until the president signs it off,” she said.

“Funding to the tune of N$50 million has been made available in the development budget for the upgrading and renovations for the Independence Stadium to meet the requirements for hosting international fixtures,” said Shiimi.

According to him, they have made an exemption to only considering ongoing projects with contractual obligations due to limited resources.

“We recognise that we can no longer afford a situation where our national team cannot play international matches on home ground. We need to restore the pride of our nation,” he said.

In this vein, Shiimi in the National Assembly announced that the allocation to the sports ministry is 20.5% higher than the preceding financial year.

“Sports, Youth and National Service has been availed N$330.9 million in FY2022/23 this is higher to cater to the Independence Stadium renovations.”

Earlier this month, the sports ministry has said it needed close to N$100 million to renovate the stadium thus submitted a request for funding to the finance ministry.

It mentioned that the repair cost is more than the N$44.1 million allocated to the ministry in the 2021/2022 financial year.

However, it is not sure when the renovations are set to begin.

The Namibia Football Association (NFA) currently spends around N$1.4 million per match hosting home matches in South Africa.

However, NFA is hopeful that the stadium will be ready for home games by May.

Justicia Shipena

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