Namibian football has been going through a nightmare. For almost three years now, the national team has been in the wilderness after it was eliminated from international football some years ago. The only international competition that Namibia has been involved in is the Cosafa Castle Cup. In fact, over the last five years, the Brave Warriors have failed to go past the first hurdle of the tournament and thus its participation was limited to the knockout stages. The situation has led to many football fans losing interest in the number one game. Namibia over the last three years was relegated to becoming spectators and not participants in continental and global competitions such as the African Nations Cup and World Cup. However, a new era for Namibian football is on the horizon. The Brave Warrior’s game tomorrow against Seychelles will mark the beginning of a new chapter in Namibian football. It will be the first step back towards getting into international competitions. And as much as the first touch in playing the game is crucial, the first game against Seychelles is vital. It will not only set the tone and rhythm for the rest of the Cosafa Castle Cup tournament but also for our journey to Ghana for the African Nations Cup Finals in 2008. A victory tomorrow and Sunday will definitely give the Brave Warriors the much-needed morale boost to propel them to greater heights and hopefully qualification for the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa. Preparations by the national team ahead of this game have not been the best. New coach Ben Bamfuchile had little time to spend with the squad. In fact, he has observed some players for less than 10 days. This is definitely not the time to point fingers although the question may still be asked why the coach was appointed only recently. Understandably, the Namibia Football Association (NFA) had its own share of problems including an unsuccessful coup d’ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â ‘ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â©tat by some of its own members. Back to tomorrow’s game. If there is one lesson that we can draw from the recently concluded FIFA 2006 World Cup in Germany, it is how Italians rallied behind their team for a 4th world cup victory. Despite the scandals of match fixing that hit Italy just before the world cup started, as well as poor overall performance by the national team before the finals, the Italians showed unity and solidarity on and off the pitch, which to a large extent secured them final victory. Namibian fans and the Brave Warriors find themselves in a similar situation. They should emulate the Azzuries and pack the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Saturday and Sunday. Namibia should not underestimate the opponents tomorrow and should not fear them, and yet show some respect for their opponents. That said, the Brave Warriors should go out there and hunt for goals. That is important. At the end of the day, Namibians will be more content with goals and not just entertainment.
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