WINDHOEK – Still fresh from their recent two-legged victories over African football minnows Eritrea in the ongoing 2022 World Cup qualifiers, the Brave Warriors of Namibia will this weekend turn their attention to the Caf African Nations Championship (Chan) where they face islanders Madagascar away on Sunday.
Namibia, who defeated the Comoros home and away to reach the final qualifying round of the Chan qualifiers, will this Sunday face Madagascar away for the 1st leg of the final round qualifiers for the 2020 edition of Africa’s second biggest football tournament, in what is expected to be an epic battle between the Warriors and the Bareas of the Indian Ocean as Madagascar are known.
The Brave Warriors leaves for Madagascar this morning and interim head coach Bobby Samaria told the association’s website that going to the Island country, the objective is to get a positive result away from home with the hope of having the upper hand ahead of the 2nd leg in Windhoek.
“Just like we did with Comoros and Eritrea away from home, we need to continue that kind of start and finish the job at home. We have the players to do so and again we bank on them to make the work easy for us as coaches. We have so much talent and it’s all about finding the right balance,” said Samaria.
Samaria however admitted that ever-improving Madagascar, who made their Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) debut at this year’s edition in Egypt and managed to reach the quarterfinals, won’t be easy opponents to handle come Sunday and that their ranking won’t matter on the day as they proved to the world what they are capable of during the 2019 Afcon.
“They had a good Afcon campaign and are ranked higher than us and that gives them motivation, but we have the right to get a good result on Sunday and we are very much capable of achieving that. I just hope the boys will have the same hunger and determination they have showed thus far,” adds an adamant Samaria.
Next year’s Chan tournament will be the 6th edition of the biennial football competition, which is organised by Caf and it exclusively features players playing in their respective domestic leagues. It will be hosted between January and February 2020 in Cameroon.
Ethiopia were formerly awarded as host, but the Ethiopia Football Federation (EFF) admitted it was not ready to host this competition. Unlike the Afcon, the competing national teams must be composed of players plying their trade domestically.
For example, a Namibian player is only eligible to play for Namibia at Chan if he is playing for a Namibian club. Morocco are the defending champions.
The creation of the African Nations Championship was a response to the desire to revive or strengthen national competitions regularly, weakened by a mass exodus of top players who leave their home countries to play for foreign teams which will pay more and get them more media coverage.
2019-09-18 07:30:05 26 days ago