Namibia: No COSAFA for Gladiators

Cosafa women's soccer group draw for 2020

It does not make financial sense for Namibia to be part of the women's Cosafa tournaments next month, the NFA says.

Cosafa announced earlier this week that the senior women's tournament and u17 girls' championship will take place simultaneously in South Africa from 5 to 13 November.

However, the Brave Gladiators and Baby Gladiators will not be among the teams competing for honours at Nelson Mandela Bay.

"We indicated that we are not going. They have no sponsor and want us to foot the whole bill," acting Namibia Football Association secretary general Franco Cosmos said on Tuesday.

He said Cosafa asked that each member pay US$50 000 (about N$824 000) in membership fees. This is towards affiliation US$20 000 (N$330 000), and US$30 000 (N$495 000) for participation.

"If you add preparation costs, appearance fees and other hidden costs, this figure will balloon," said Cosmos.

"Many other members also indicated they cannot afford the fees and therefore won't be present. The situation is worse because of Covid-19. I said it before and I'll say it again: Covid football is expensive," he said.

"It does not make sense for us to take on such a huge financial undertaking. Unfortunately, we will have to sit this one out."

For the senior competition, only seven of 14 Cosafa member countries are part of the upcoming edition, while Tanzania will participate as the guest nation.

Hosts South Africa will compete along with Angola, Botswana, the Comoros Islands, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In the u17 category, six teams are expected to feature. They are Zambia, Botswana, the Comoros Islands, Zimbabwe, South Africa and guests Tanzania.

The group stage draws for both championships will be held on 20 October, and the eight participating teams will be split into two groups of four, and they will challenge for a place in the semi-finals.

Namibia also missed out on the inaugural Cosafa women's u17 championship, which took place in Mauritius last year. The tournament provided rich entertainment, with records galore and a historic winner as Uganda were crowned champions after a hard-fought 2-1 victory over South Africa in the final.

The action-starved Brave Gladiators were off-colour during last year's tournament.

Following narrow losses to Zambia (3-2) and Botswana (1-0), their 2019 Cosafa adventure ended with a Namibian record 8-0 drubbing of Mauritius.

It represents the biggest winning margin for Namibia in an international match.

Their male counterparts, the Brave Warriors, held the previous best mark after thumping Benin 8-2 at home in the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying on 15 July 2000.

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