By Carlos Kambaekwa
The Namibian Football Association (NFA), in a desperate bid to participate in the 2012 London Olympics, have mapped out a comprehensive blueprint starting this morning in the mining town of Tsumeb.
The Association is to host the second edition of the annual National Youth Tournament for Under-15’s, with the primary aim of identifying talent at an early age in order to have a competitive Under-23 team when the 2012 Olympic qualifiers get underway.
The four-day tourney has attracted 12 teams from various municipalities, football academies and constituencies as well as village and town councils from the width and length of the country.
Speaking at the launch at Soccer House earlier this week, the Acting Secretary-General of the NFA Barry Rukoro, said development at grassroots level remains high on the Association’s priority list.
“We need to have sustainable structures in place if we are to become regular participants in major tournaments such as the continental showpiece the African Cup of Nations finals and many other youth tournaments.”
Rukoro added that municipalities and town councils do have a major role to play in recreational activities as it helps prevent accelerating crime and unbecoming behaviour amongst disillusioned youngsters.
The tournament will give National Under-15 coach, Willem Kapukare, an ideal chance to run an eye over talented youngsters for selection into a settled National Under-15 side that would be nurtured towards participation for the 2012 Olympics.
A total of 24 municipalities and village/town councils were invited for the event but only a dozen confirmed participation, with the rest citing financial constraints for their no-show, amongst them, the more affluent City of Windhoek.
The draw for the knock-out tournament reads as follows
Tsandi Constituency vs Mukoya Football Academy (Grootfontein Municipality)
Okahandja Municipality vs Henties Bay Municipality
Tsumeb Municipality vs Oshikuku Village/Council
Otjiwarongo Municipality vs Okakarara Town Council