Namibia Football Association (NFA) acting secretary general, Franco Cosmos, has assured the nation that the safety of the Brave Warriors is of paramount importance ahead of their African Cup of Nations (Afcon) 1st leg qualifiers away in Bamako, Mali.
The Brave Warriors of Namibia will face the Eagles of Mali on 13 November away in Bamako, the metropolis of the landlocked West African country has been under serious civic upsurge and political unrest following a coup d’etat by military against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in August and the unrest has since continued.
The multiple demonstrations and widespread political tension have reportedly killed thousands of Malians. This is the country’s second coup in less than 10 years, following the 2012 coup d’état.
But during yesterday’s press conference at Football House in Katutura, Cosmos assured those in attendance and the nation at large that the Warriors trip to Bamako has received all attention it deserves and the safety of the team is guaranteed.
Cosmos said the Confederation of African Football (Caf) has also been in talks with the Malian football association and Caf has expressed its satisfaction with the safety and overall conditions on the ground ahead of Namibia’s visit.
“We are aware of the political unrest going on in Mali at the moment and recently wrote to Caf to raise our concern regarding the political unrest in that country. Caf reverted and assured us that the Warriors are safe to go there [Mali],” said Cosmos.
Touching on the return fixture between the two nations, which is slated for 17 November in Windhoek, Cosmos said no spectators will be allowed into the stadium for the 2nd leg of the qualifiers, as the match will be behind closed doors. He, however, said the Windhoek version of the two-legged affair will be televised live for all Namibians to follow.
Also at yesterday’s presser, Warriors interim coach Bobby Samaria announced a 40-man provisional squad ahead of Mali’s clash, and the 40 players are expected to report for camp on Monday and all foreign-based players will be expected to join the rest of the squad in training before 10 November.
The 40-man squad is as follows: Lloydt Kazapua, Virgil Vries, Edward Maova, Ratanda Mbazuvara, Jonas Mateus, Teberius Lombardt, Ryan Nyambe, Ananias Gerbhardt, Riaan Hanamub, Ivan Kamberipa, Martin Emilio, Vitapi Ngaruka, Larry Horaeb, Approcius Petrus, Gregory Aukumeb, Erasmus Ikeinge, Rehabeam Mbango, Brendon Neibeb, Kleophas Nuukushu, Denzil Hoaseb, Petrus Shitembi (C), Deon Hotto, Batista Wangu Gome, Dynamo Fredricks, Immanuel Heita, Aubrey Amseb, Wendell Rudath, Gustav Isaack, Lewellyn Stanley, Absalom Iimbondi, Marcel Papama, Willy Stephanus, Alfeus Handura, Wesley Katjiteo, Peter Shalulile, Benson Shilongo, Elmo Kambindu, Hendrik Somaeb, Panduleni Nekundi and Salomon Omseb.