The Namibia Football Association (NFA) yesterday confirmed the Brave Warriors participation in next month’s Cosafa Cup, and it was further revealed that gaffer Bobby Samaria has again been roped in to take charge of the team ahead of the regional competition.
Namibia along with hosts South Africa, defending champions Zambia, record six-time winners Zimbabwe, Botswana, Comoros Islands, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi and Mozambique had so far confirmed their participation in this year’s Cosafa Cup. The 11th team will be confirmed in the coming days, while African giants Senegal will be the 12th team at the tournament participating as guests.
The draw for next month’s 20th edition of the Cosafa Cup, which takes place from 7-18 July in Durban, South Africa, will be held tomorrow in Nelson Mandela Bay, where the Warriors will get to know who their opponents are.
NFA secretary general Franco Cosmos confirmed that coach Samaria has been recalled to take charge of the Warriors going into the regional competition, and that the NFA is strongly considering setting up base in South Africa for their preparations as contact sport is currently banned in Namibia due to Covid-19.
“Yes, we will participate [in the Cosafa Cup]. The aim is to put up camp in South Africa and prepare there before our first match. Bobby Samaria is appointed as the caretaker coach for the tournament,” he confirmed to New Era Sport.
Nampa yesterday also quoted Cosmos as saying: “We engaged him (Samaria) and he agreed to take the team to Cosafa. He was the obvious choice because it would not make sense to bring in someone new.” Samaria’s short-term contract with the NFA ended a few months ago.
For this year, the competition will take on a new format, with the 12 teams split into three groups, each containing four teams. This is to ensure each side plays a minimum of three matches. The top team in each pool, as well as the best second-place finisher, will advance to the semifinals. There will be no Plate competition for this year.
The 19 previous editions of the regional competition have seen some great performances that have been written into the folklore of southern African football, but only five nations can claim to have lifted the coveted trophy; being Zimbabwe (six wins), followed by Zambia (five), South Africa (four), Angola (three) and Namibia (one).