The Brave Warriors are due to play Niger in a crucial 2017 Afcon qualifier on June 4 and their participation in the 2016 Cosafa Cup trophy tour was thus amended to allow the team full focus on the must-win match ahead of the 2016 Cosafa tournament to be played in Windhoek from June 11-25.
The LOC and Cosafa had a crunch meeting on Wednesday and after thorough consultations with coach Ricardo Mannetti, consensus was reached to change the programme to allow maximum focus for the players, some of whom are currently in Ghana and return home on May 23.
“It was very important for us to reach consensus on the tour because it is something we planned to do and we need to keep it alive. We now have new dates for the tour which will also still involve our support for the campaign of the First Lady on cancer,” says Roger Kambatuku, chairperson of the LOC.
The trophy tour will start on May 21 at the Kuisebmond Stadium in Walvis Bay with the 2016 Cosafa Castle Cup ambassadors Congo Hindjou and China Uutoni to be joined by other Cosafa legends, as well as members of the Brave Gladiators for a host of activities on the day.
The Warriors will be released from camp from May 23 upon arrival from Ghana and reconvene with the foreign-based players on May 26.
Then it’s down to Okahandja for an afternoon training session on Friday, May 27 (stadium to be confirmed) while on Saturday, Gobabis residents will watch their heroes in action as they host another session at the Legare Stadium coupled with activations from Castle Lager, the proud sponsor of the regional competition.
“This will involve the Cup ambassadors and legends in coaching clinics and just meeting the fans. We are looking forward to it indeed. It is to ensure that we involve as much of Namibia as possible but also consider players’ fitness ahead of their Cup defence,” explains Kambatuku.
Over and above the trophy tour, there will also be a 24-hour 5-a-side football match played June 4-5 at Football for Hope Centre, Katutura, allowing fans to enjoy a day-long feast of football.
The road show will conclude at the UN Plaza in Katutura on June 10 ahead of the tournament kick-off on June 11.