Friday 14 May 2021
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CoW dilly-dallies on soccer field deal

At a time when sports facilities are a major need for sports development in the country, the City of Windhoek is hesitant in honoring its council resolution that would see former Brave Warrior player-cum-coach Collin Benjamin rehabilitating the dilapidated Khomasdal Stadium fields B and C.
Sources party to these talks have revealed to The Patriot that negotiations which started in 2015 between the two parties are yet to be finalized. A conclusion to the negotiation would see the two fields which are currently in a sorry state be put to good use.
The source has it that the CoW, after initially agreeing to lease the field to Benjamin has turned the tables by adding cumbersome extras to the Memorandum of Understanding, hence this has resulted in a back and forth process that has delayed progress since 2015.
The finalization of this deal would mean Benjamin will have to rehabilitate the stadium which he is intending to use for football development.
Over the years, unremitting vandalism continued to plague Windhoek municipality’s efforts to provide adequate recreational facilities to the city residents. The municipality is faced with a liquidity crisis and is therefore in no position to spend financial resources on rehabilitating recreation facilities.
Like the Khomasdal Stadium’s fields B and C, the Sam Nujoma Stadium field B which used to be in an excellent condition has also become an eyesore and it now mirrors a grazing terrain. The Khomasdal fields A and B were last used in 2010 since been left to rack and ruin. What is left of value on the field are the two existing goal posts. During the past weekend, the B-field at Sam Nujoma stadium as a parking area for the crowds who came to the 081Every1 festival.
The City’s football stadiums and community parks are currently in a deplorable state, giving young people no space to grow talents. It is thus ironic how the CoW refuses to let go the fields which will be used to the benefit of sports in the country.
The field’s, which used to be referred to as ‘Coaching Clinic’ attracted hundreds of young footballers who then had a place to play soccer and possibly be scouted by teams. The Coaching Clinic, which ran on weekends played a pivotal role in the development of footballers in the country particularly in Windhoek.
The CoW Sports and Recreation section head Uakazuvaka Kazombiaze yesterday confirmed the ongoing negotiations between his department and the two parties’ legal teams.
Clearing the air, Kazombiaze told this publication that all that needs to happen is for both parties to meet reach consensus.
“These deliberations started in 2015. Benjamin was guided on what the requirements are. He took long to submit the needed documents for application consideration, hence the delay,” said Kazombiaze.
Kazombiaze highlighted that the MoU has been ready. However the legal teams of Benjamin had highlighted some issues in the MoU but have not yet met with the CoW legal division to iron out the matter.
“Also, the initial application that was made to council was made under his personal capacity as ‘Collin Benjamin’. He then wrote a letter to us to make amendments to change it to a trust by the name ‘First Football School of Windhoek’. This process also caused a delay as the matter had to be resubmitted to council after the resolution was already taken as organizational procedures.
“From our side, all documents are ready since last year October. The two legal teams need to meet and address all concerns,” he said.
Contacted for comment, Benjamin confirmed the ongoing talks but could not share more details on the matter saying he is optimistic the negotiations would conclude soon.
According to a source, the bone of contention between the two parties is that the CoW also wants to attach field A of the stadium into the deal, which Benjamin’s team is said not to have an interest in due to the exorbitant fee that will be attached. Already part of the agreement is that Benjamin’s team must rehabilitate the field with an artificial turf thus, and additionally prioritizing field A would be a financial burden.
“Collin’s team does not want to sign for the Field A as it was not part of the initial agreement. What is now happening is that the CoW wants to force in Field A and they are saying it’s all or nothing.
“What should happen is that CoW must just put their pride aside and give the field because they too are unable to use it. There is someone who wants to put the field to good use and the youth are on the streets so just give the field and save the youth. This boardroom fights will not benefit anyone.”

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