WINDHOEK, April 19 — The Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service has announced its decision to terminate its participation in the joint bid with Botswana to host the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2027. The decision was communicated in a letter sent to the Botswana government on April 19, 2023.
The letter, signed by the Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Agnes Tjongarero, cited the N$4.8 billion budget for the event as the reason for Namibia’s withdrawal. The minister stated that the cost was beyond their budget, and with the looming drought in the country, the government was forced to reprioritize its resources.
Tjongarero assured the Botswana government that Namibia would still honour its outstanding payment for the work completed to date in line with the 40/60 percent agreement towards facilities audit work. She also expressed regret over the decision, stating that the country would have benefitted greatly from hosting such a prestigious event.
Namibia and Botswana had announced their joint bid to host AFCON 2027 in 2021, with both countries expressing their excitement and readiness to host the event. The decision to withdraw from the bid comes as a disappointment to many football fans in both countries who had eagerly anticipated the possibility of hosting the tournament.
AFCON is the biggest football tournament on the African continent, with 24 teams participating in the competition. The tournament is held every two years and has been hosted by various African countries, including Egypt, Ghana, and South Africa.
The decision by Namibia to pull out of the joint bid highlights the financial constraints faced by many African countries when it comes to hosting large-scale events. It also underscores the importance of proper planning and budgeting when considering such bids.
While the disappointment of not hosting AFCON 2027 may linger, Namibia can still take pride in the fact that it considered such a bid in the first place. The country can continue to work towards building its sports infrastructure and positioning itself as a potential host for future sporting events. – Namibia Daily News