More international friendlies will boost Brave Warriors

MORE international friendly matches are needed for the senior national football team, the Brave Warriors, who are expected to compete in the African Nations Cup (CHAN) qualifiers against Comoros and also to take part in the 2021 International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) qualifiers.

Surely, the ongoing Total Africa Cup of Nations must have been an eye-opener for football fans, more importantly the Namibia Football Association (NFA) Normalisation Committee that is temporarily tasked with the day-to-day running of the NFA.

Having had one only international friendly match against Ghana’s Black Stars is awfully pathetic and must never be condoned. But the question on everybody’s lips is whether there is enough funding to have the needed international friendly games and by so doing expose our players to regional and international competition.

For government through the Ministry of Sports, Youth and National Service to have identified football, netball and rugby as national sports as priority sports is indicative of the government’s commitment to make this country a sporting nation capable of competing against the best in the world.

However, lack of funding especially from the corporate sector is extremely disappointing, as the private sector seems to be highly selective in which sport codes they inject their funds into. It’s imperative for government and private sector to be on the same page in terms of developing sport.

Having said that, the understanding is that Namibia will not clinch any gold medals at major football tournaments such as (CHAN and AFCON) if we solely depend on Life Fighters Football Club (FC)’s striker Gurirab.

I must however agree with Robert Nauseb and former Brave Warriors head coach Rusten Mogane who are of the opinion that strikers are struggling to find the back of the net at league level and the onus must now be upon club owners to invest heavily into their strike force.

We all know the immense contribution government has made to the national senior football team, but I doubt if government will once again fork out close to N$19 million if all stakeholders within the football fraternity are reluctant to invest in football.

The Brave Warriors did exceptionally well during the 2018 CHAN finals in Morocco by progressing beyond the group stages, thanks to Ricardo Mannetti’s charges who understood the importance of  performing well at the continental showpiece but with the current status quo I doubt we will accomplish the same.

I sincerely hope we will not see a situation whereby the accomplishments of Mannetti go down the drain. We have the potential and talent to go the extra mile but funding is key in all aspects of the game.

We all know where we lacked at the AFCON showdown and a post-mortem must be conducted by the technical committee and eventually presented to the NFA Normalisation Committee, as well as the Sport Ministry.