Brave Warriors players were in deep shock and left fearing for their lives on Saturday evening after the bus in which they were traveling back to their hotel after the Botswana match was attacked with stones by a group of unidentified supporters.
The Warriors were on Saturday knocked out of the 2016 Cosafa Castle Cup after losing 5-4 on penalties to Botswana during their quarterfinal match at the Sam Nujoma Stadium. The game ended in a 1-all draw and had to be decided on penalties, which eventually saw Botswana progressing to the semifinals via the spot-kicks.
The defeat left a soar taste in the mouths of many Brave Warriors supporters, who had braved the chilly weather to come out in their hundreds to pack the Sam Nujoma Stadium to capacity in support of the boys, with most taking to social media to vent their frustration, while others expressed remorse over the performance of the team – calling it just another bad day at the office.
An online video of the driver who was on transporting the Brave Warriors back to their hotel Saturday evening went viral yesterday on various social media platforms. In it the driver narrates how a group of unidentified men approached the bus at an intersection in the vicinity of the stadium and started smashing the windows of the bus.
“I took off from the stadium, as I was taking the team back to the hotel, and I was escorted by two traffic officers, but just as we reached the area of Hakahana Service Station somebody from the group threw a stone and smashed the bus windows.
“The players were very scared and started screaming in fear of their lives, so I quickly sped off from the scene in order to avoid any injuries to the players and further damage to the bus. I tried stopping the two traffic offers with my headlights, but it appears they couldn’t see me,” narrated the driver, who was identified as Eliud Ndandu.
The bus belongs to privately owned road transport company Macon, which is responsible for transporting the various teams participating in this year’s Cosafa Cup. Macon owner Kelvin Kamalata confirmed the incident to New Era Sport and said fortunately nobody was hurt during the incident.
“Yes, I can confirm that one of our busses was hit with stones by some unidentified men on Saturday, but luckily nobody sustained any injuries. My driver and I called the police immediately to report the incident and I have also forwarded a formal report to the Namibia Football Association (NFA). We’re still using the bus to transport the teams, as it was fitted with a temporary window, but the original windows will be fitted in at a later stage. To replace the broken windows would cost us about N$50 000,” Kamalata said.
TODAY’S MATCHES FREE OF CHARGE
Following their defeat by Botswana in the quarterfinals on Saturday night, the Brave Warriors have set their eyes on the Cosafa Castle Cup Plate trophy, as a consolation for all Namibians, as they face Mozambique in today’s plate semifinal clash at the Sam Nujoma Stadium. Entry to the match is free of charge and supporters have been urged to collect their free tickets at various outlets countrywide.
According to coach Ricardo Mannetti, his charges have recovered from the psychological blow they suffered on Saturday and are ready to make amends.
“Saturday was one of those days where we played our best football and came out second best. The pain was heavy on the fans and more so on the players, because they let the nation down. To see so many Namibians behind the team throughout the match was unprecedented and the result was one to forget.
“We have to get over it and focus on the next game, which is on Tuesday against Mozambique and try to go all the way in the section. The best team lost on Saturday. Going forward we’re determined to make things right and make things easy for ourselves and for our fans that showed so much love on Saturday,” Mannetti said.