Why Was NFA Quiet?


By Confidence Musa WINDHOEK It never rains but it pours for the ills of the national football association as evidenced at the Cosafa Castle Cup kit launch hosted for the Brave Warriors and the Namibia Football Association (the NFA) on Tuesday night. The mother body executive seemingly shunned the ample opportunity to give a motivational speech to the Brave Warriors who are bracing up for the challenge for a Cosafa semi-final berth. Secretary General of the NFA Alfeus Gawaseb who was in attendance together with the rest of the Brave Warriors squad, did not give a speech but delegated the responsibility to the national coordinator of women football and executive committee member, Jacky Gertze. It had been widely expected the NFA chief executive officer would take the podium and perhaps give a chance to the media to pose questions, whose answers could have added in steering the team to the dizzy heights of success come Saturday. With the ‘who’s who’ of the local sports media fraternity as well as the sponsors present, the NFA was expected to use the platform to call for more sponsors into the game, but alas, Jacky Gertze seemed to have been an impromptu appointment representing the NFA executive. Coach Ben Bamfuchile has already appealed to the association to bring up incentives and packages that will motivate the players and Tuesday’s behaviour by the NFA boss was a far cry from the coach’s vision. The sponsors’ Cobus Bruwer, Managing Director of Castle Brewing Namibia, expressed his delight in creating “an incredible amount of hype and excitement” for the Brave Warriors. Gertze however did not lose her footing. “This competition (Cosafa) has created sound opportunities for social, economic and professional benefits for the host countries,” she said. Gertze convincingly summed up her night by announcing that Namibia would not only qualify but also win the Cosafa Cup. Bamfuchile is slowly stealing the limelight from his paymasters; willingly giving interviews to the media and was undoubtedly the best-dressed person at the event. In an immaculate pin-stripe suit, the yet to be introduced coach accommodated interviews to both the print and electronic media with all the time at his disposal. Needless to say, it was also a great milestone to note how the technical team refrained from taking any alcoholic beverages that were for free. Even the Brave Warriors took juices while team manager Markus Damaseb, assistants Brian Isaacs and Ronnie Kanalelo, all staged a fast, in stern preparedness of the weekend battle. In the lengthy interviews, media practitioners informed the coach of the public outcry over the omission of veteran Congo Hindjou but the coach had his cards close to his chest. “I spoke to Congo on personal terms before coming to the conclusion and he has admitted that he is only starting to get into shape now. It is advisable for a player to gain his 100 percent match fitness now in such a tournament. However, the door is not closed on any of the removed players. There is still a long way to go and the chances are there for all players to compete for the national team positions. No place is guaranteed at the moment,” said Big Ben. Congo rarely featured in last season’s Civics championship winning team, as he was involved with the technical aspects of the club, assisting club coach Helmuth Scharnowski. Bamfuchile is more of the messiah of the Brave Warriors, while the NFA continue to apply dirty tricks, when it counts most. A Cosafa press conference is expected on Friday with all the teams available and the charisma of the coach might be the only philosophical tool left to lead the lads. Pity there has been no formal introduction of him to the nation. The Brave Warriors need not only victory but to redefine the history books. Namibia have lost five of their last six matches in the Cosafa and have not won a game inside 90 minutes since September 1998 when the team beat Mozambique. The Brave Warriors did reach the Cosafa Cup final the next year but only after eliminating three sides on post-match penalties in successive matches before losing 2-1 to Angola in that fateful final.

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