No major upgrades needed to host Cosafa

23 Mar 2016 13:10pm
GOBABIS, 23 MAR (NAMPA) - Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service Jerry Ekandjo has expressed concern about a cut in the ministry’s capital projects funding for the 2016/17 financial year.
The capital funding budget was reduced from N.dollar 84 million, to N.dollars 74 million for the 2016/17 financial year, according to Ekandjo.
Speaking to Nampa via telephone on Tuesday, Ekandjo said his ministry is lagging behind in terms of financial resources in consideration of national youth projects and the participation of athletes at global sporting events. He said the available funds need to cater for many projects.
“This is not only for sports because we still have to build multi purpose youth centres and sport facilities, and the ministry’s offices countywide. The ministry does not even have an office yet and we are still renting.”
Despite capital budget constraints, the ministry also has to foot the bill of athletes and officials who will depart for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games and Paralympic Games slated for 7-18 September this year.
As customary, the ministry will pay for air tickets, transportation of athletes in Rio de Janeiro, meals and accommodation for over 10 athletes amongst others for the Rio delegation.
A record number of 10 Paralympic athletes have qualified for Rio 2016 Paralympic Games including six able bodied athletes for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
“Our budget has been tremendously cut and we have to concentrate on the delegation that will take part at the Rio Paralympic and Olympic Games, otherwise we will be suspended.”
Ekandjo noted his ministry forked out N.dollars 86 million for hosting the 11th edition Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) Women’s Championship in 2014, for which some funds was diverted from programmes intended for youth development.
“We had to take money from other programmes because we only budgeted N.dollars 24 million for the CAF Women Championships, and we ended up paying N.dollars 60 million dollars more.”
With the fast approaching Confederations of Southern African Football Association (Cosafa) Cup in May this year, no large sums of money will be spent, according to Ekandjo.
“The stadia are in good shape. Initially, for the CAF Women Championship, we intended to only use the Independence Stadium but officials from CAF instructed us to revamp the Sam Nujoma Stadium to use it as well, which is why no major renovations are needed for Cosafa, besides the minor upgrades.”