Africa-Press – Namibia. SEBASTIAN Kamungu, who chaired Namibia’s failed 2010 Africa Cup of Nations bid committee, says the 2027 joint bid by Namibia and Botswana must appeal to the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
In a recent interview with Desert Radio, Kamungu said the bid, dubbed Bona 2027, should not be seen as “just a project” for the two nations, but must be embraced by all of southern Africa.
“We must garner the needed support from the football federations within the Cosafa block before selling it to the rest of Africa,” Kamungu said.
“Southern Africa has not had many opportunities hosting the continental spectacle. Just like South Africa marketed the 2010 World Cup bid as the African bid, the two countries must sell the idea as an SADC bid,” he said.
Should the bid succeed, the benefits should be spread around as much as possible, Kamungu said.
For example, qualified nations for the 2027 tournament could host their training camps or bases in other SADC countries, he said.
“We need to package it as a product of southern Africa once a credible technical committee is appointed to look at the bid beyond the two countries,” he said.
Referencing the unsuccessful 2010, Kamungu said Namibia and Bostwana have a lot to offer the continent.
“I am not challenged about the facilities. Let us look at how we are going to approach the football associations continentally to get those votes,” he said.
Kamungu said a lot has changed since falling short in 2010.
The fact that the sitting CAF president, Patrice Motsepe, hails from the SADC region, could work in the favour of both Namibia and Botswana if the bid is well packaged, he said.
The former Namibia Football Association (NFA) secretary general cautioned that a successful bid depends largely on unwavering government support.
“The NFA has an important role to play, but cannot do this without the guarantee of the government. Full guarantee must be provide. If not, it is a no-go exercise,” Kamungu said.
“I am not really worried about the budget to co-host the tournament, because the mere fact that we want to share means the cost would be reduced considerably.
“I guarantee you the returns would be substantive for the tourism sector, and would see an upgrade in facilities,” he said.
“It is essential to have the public buy in and do away with the negative vibe. It’s important for the public to understand the economic benefit of such an exercise.”