Drive to score from 2010

GREAT: Former Kaizer Chiefs striker Pele Blaschke. © Sowetan.
GREAT: Former Kaizer Chiefs striker Pele Blaschke. © Sowetan.

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Namibian soccer player-turned politician Asser Mbai is spearheading a campaign for his country to benefit from 2010 World Cup opportunities.

Mbai, a member of parliament in Namibia, is also the secretary general of the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo). He took the challenge to parliament last week, telling fellow MPs that Namibia should start getting involved in preparing for the 2010 World Cup.

"I submitted a motion in parliament that our politicians and government should seriously consider benefitting from the World Cup in South Africa.

"We are also looking at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola. It is important that Namibia should start preparing for these events so that we can also benefit," said Mbai.

"The benefits will be enormous in various aspects like tourism, communication, transport, retail and advertising.

"We need to come up with a paper detailing our plans. My problem is that there was a committee set up to look into the 2010 [World Cup] last year, but nothing has been done. That is why it was important to take it to parliament because of the export-import mechanisms.

"Some of us have played against greats such as Jomo Sono, Pele Blaschke, Shakes Mashaba and Chippa Moloi. We know what it means to host a soccer tournament.

"Namibians are looking forward to the 2010 World Cup, it will be a historic experience because it will be the first time that the World Cup is coming to Africa."

Mbai said they were hoping to attract some of the countries that will qualify for the World Cup to set up training bases in Namibia.

"When Germany hosted the 2006 World Cup, participating teams set up training bases in Switzerland and Belgium."