By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek Namibia’s Founding President Dr Sam Nujoma is optimistic that Namibia will be shortlisted and eventually selected to host the African Nations Cup in 2010. Nujoma, who is the patron of the Namibia Bid Committee made the remark yesterday on the eve of the departure of the Bid Committee to Egypt. “The bid is a big challenge for this country and we should work around the clock to ensure that our country emerges victorious.” Namibia is competing against Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe in southern Africa, while other big name competitors are Nigeria, Senegal and Libya, with Gabon and Equatorial Guinea having submitted a joint bid. Nujoma, who was in an upbeat mood noted that Namibia has the capacity to bring the biggest soccer showpiece on the continent to Namibia. “We have the infrastructure and I have been informed that we will build a new stadium in Swakopmund and upgrade the two stadiums in Windhoek as well as the one in Oshakati.” The founding president called on the entire Namibian nation and especially the media to rally behind the country in the campaign. Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture (MYNSSC) John Mutorwa, who will also be travelling to Egypt, noted that the time has finally arrived. “After months and days of hard work the moment has finally arrived for us to know whether we will be short-listed or not.” The minister said he is confident that the Namibian Bid Committee has done more than enough to convince the selectors that Namibia is the perfect destination to host the 2010 African Nations Cup. Mutorwa also revealed that the proposal was already presented to the Namibian Cabinet on April 24, and was endorsed. “The Bid Committee met with an ad hoc Cabinet yesterday and they were happy with the final product.” The minister declared that Namibia is ready for the bid. The CAF Executive Committee will select the 2010 host country during its meeting on September 4, 2006. All the nine countries including Namibia have been invited to do a presentation of their bidding files during the CAF Executive Committee meeting on Sunday. A technical evaluation committee will set up a ranking instrument using a number of criteria that include zonal distribution of final previous competitions. The CAF Executive Committee will also take into account linguistics considerations, football aspects and government guarantees. The committee will look at respective terms of reference of candidatures as well as organisational abilities. Once the technical committee completes its review of entries, the CAF executive committee will reduce bidding files to three or four at the maximum. During the month of July and August 2006, an inspection team will be visiting the remaining countries and will provide a detailed report on each country using CAF terms of reference as benchmarks. The high-level Namibian delegation to Cairo consists of Dr Nujoma, Mutorwa, MYNSSC Permanent Secretary Peingeonjabi Shipoh, Chairperson of the Bid Committee John Muinjo, Robert Paltiel, Marcus von Blottnitz, Matheus Kaholongo, Lieutenant Colonel Nahum Indombo, Betty Wilbard, former national team player Eliphas Shivute, Julien Garises, Bengt Strenge, Steven Ndorokaze and Warrant Officer Johan Ndjaronguru. Former Prime Minister Hage Geingob, former Miss Universe Michelle Mclean and Namibia Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Gideon Shikongo will join the team on May 12. Director of Sport Vetumbuavi Veii left Tuesday, while Egyptian-born Bid Ambassador Mohamed Omar was the first to leave to do the groundwork.
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