The Namibian (Windhoek)

11 January 2013

Namibia/Zambia: Brave Warriors Disappointed With Cancelled Zambia Date

BRAVE Warriors interim coach Bernard Kaanjuka is disappointed that his charges will not be able test their mettle against Zambia after the African champions called off next week's friendly.

Namibia were set to face Zambia on Tuesday after engaging 2013 Africa Cup of Nations hopefuls Morocco in another international friendly on Saturday.

Kaanjuka said he had been looking forward to the Zambia encounter before Namibia Football Association (NFA) President John Muinjo broke the news of the cancellation.

According to Muinjo, his Zambian Football Federation counterpart Kalusha Bwalya informed him that the Chipolopolo will not be able to honour their date with the Brave Warriors due to a hectic schedule.

Chipolopolo have played friendlies against Tanzania, Angola, Saudi Arabia and Morocco in the past four weeks.

They were scheduled to play Norway and Namibia before beginning the defence of their continental crown next week.

"They (Zambia) are citing a strenuous schedule as the reason for the cancellation of the 15 January friendly in Nelspruit and Kalusha has indicated this to me. Their coach wants the final week before the Nations Cup to be used as a winding-down period," Muinjo told www.nfa.org.na.

"There's nothing we can do about it. We are disappointed because that we had been preparing for two games but we still have the Morocco match and so our focus is on them," Kaanjuka added.

"They [Morocco] will obviously be using the match to work out formations and for fitness ahead of the tournament but we will go out to get a result. To win the game will be a morale booster for the us," said Kaanjuka.

Angola, who are also participating at the 2013 AFCON which kicks off on January 19, had initially intimated that they would like to take on Namibia but they too have since chosen out of a fixture.

"They (Angola) initially wanted to play us too but then they have decided not to play any more friendlies after 13 January. We play Morocco on 12 January and you can imagine how impossible that can be to play Angola, so now we just have to concentrate on Morocco and hope for other friendlies after the Nations Cup as the 2014 World Cup qualifiers take centre stage", added Muinjo.

"Normally teams would want to keep the spirit and morale of the team high and they would not want to lose games before a big tournament like the Afcon as that will dampen their spirits, so we understand Angola and Zambia's sentiments."

The Brave Warriors fly to Johannesburg today to face Morocco in at the Rand Stadium in Johannesburg tomorrow.

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