Young Warriors to be honoured

By Michael Uugwanga

THE country’s Under-20 men football team, Young Warriors, will be rewarded by the government after reaching the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) U-20 Cup tournament finals, which also earned them qualification to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) U-20 tournament to be held in Mauritania in February.

Namibia lost in the final 1-0 to Mozambique in Port Elizabeth, South Africa where the regional youth tournament was held.

The announcement regarding the reward was made by the Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Agnes Tjongerero on Tuesday, when she welcomed back the team at the Safari Court Hotel in Windhoek.

Tjongarero could however not reveal the type of reward the team would be receiving.

In 2018, Cabinet approved a national reward policy to remunerate individuals and teams who have achieved wonders at regional, continental and international stages.

“I cannot say that we will give a pen or give a cow. I do not know what is on the table for now,” said Tjongarero.

Irvin Ndjavera of the sports ministry said that the government will first have to discuss with the Namibia Football Association (NFA) to see how it can reward the team.

“After this meeting, government will sit down with the NFA to see what can be done, as we only learned about the team’s qualifications to the AFCON after we reached the finals of the COSAFA Cup. The qualification is a new door opening, therefore we will have to take each other forward,” said Ndjavera.

Also speaking was NFA president Ranga Haikali who paid tribute to the team for their effort at the regional tournament, saying that qualification to AFCON came as a surprise to the entire nation adding that the team was at COSAFA to compete and not just to make up numbers.

“We did not just go there to participate but to compete. Prior to the team leaving, of course we estimated the amount which we presented to government. Our main focus was mostly on the Brave Warriors African Nations Championship (CHAN) 2021. The achievement of the boys is a surprise that was not expected,” said Haikali.