Thursday, December 8, 2022

Is government red tape stalling 2027 Afcon Bid?

The progress of the Botswana Namibia 2027 (BONA 2027) Africa Cup of Nations bid committee to formulate a bid is alleged to be going at a snail’s pace.

This is said to have already sparked some concerns that the bid committee might be running out of time.

BONA 2027 bid committee came into being as a vehicle to drive Botswana and Namibia’s joint bid to co-host the 2027 Afcon finals. The work of the dual committee formed by two member states will determine the prospects of hosting.

Information gathered by this publication suggests that the bid committee has come up with a budget proposal and has since submitted it at the ministry of sport. “The budget has been submitted and it is now over two months and the government is saying nothing,” a source disclosed.

The source also said an audit will give the idea on the magnitude of work that needs to be done, the remedial developments that need to be done to existing stadia and the building of the new stadia.

“All the work will need consultants to assess what the country has and what needs to be done. The pace of government is delaying work. The information will be vital in the finalization of the bid document,” the source explained.

With concerns of time running out, fingers are now pointing at the government for dragging its feet, thus preventing the bid committee from producing a bid document on time.  “There are those who feel the whole idea of bidding for 2027 should be deferred to 2029 because there is a lot of work that needs to be done,” suggested the source.

Each country is expected to finance developments of what is needed. Botswana is expected to host 60% of games while Namibia is to host 40% of the games provided the co-host wins the bid. The bid is dubbed BONA (Botswana and Namibia).

In a media release on Monday the bid committee assured its commitment and continued efforts to engage all stakeholders in ensuring that high quality and up to par standards required for the submission of the bid are upheld. The committee has vouched to leave no stone unturned; guided by the processes in place to deliver their mandate satisfactorily.

“Though there have been challenges as can be expected with any project of this magnitude, the committee is doing its best to ensure that such are surmounted; to guarantee that the bid from Botswana and Namibia will be a compelling one,” the release said without narrating nature of challenges.

BONA committee explained that several key decisions are to be made at the level of the two Governments, on the conclusion of which, BONA 2027 should be able to take off at a higher speed that will not be missed by anyone, let alone the media and the public.

“Securing the bid has many benefits envisioned for both Botswana and Namibia, and the mandate to secure the bid is still very much the commitment of BONA 2027 in seeing this process through,“ said Ashford Mamelodi, BONA 27 Chairperson.

BONA 2027 Head of Marketing and Public Relations, Tshepo Maphanyane explained that “the committee will soon share outcomes from the various stakeholder meetings held and announce activities geared at the involvement of all in attaining this mission.

An activities budget has since been submitted and awaits approval of the two respective ministries of both countries. Among the countries that want to host the 36th edition of AFCON include Senegal, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Zambia and Tanzania.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper