Namibia’s U/20 men’s football team have been replaced by Sudan in next month’s Cosafa U/20 Championships slated for South Africa’s North West Province from December 7-16.
Late last week, the Namibia Football Association (NFA) unceremoniously disclosed the team’s withdrawal from the regional competition due to financial constraints, as the association was faced with an uphill battle of securing about N$1.2 million to ensure Namibia’s smooth participation in the championships.
Following weeks of rummaging around seeking financial aid from various stakeholders, which saw all their efforts falling flat, the NFA leadership succumbed and finally threw in the towel signalling their immediate withdrawal from the highly important regional football bonanza.
As such, the Cosafa leadership were forced to scramble around trying to find a suitable replacement for Namibia, and Sudan were chosen as the most qualified entrants to fill the competition’s vacant position.
The north-east African country will now take Namibia’s place in Group C, where they will meet Angola in their opening match on December 8, before clashes with Mauritius (December 10) and Seychelles (December 12).
“We are obviously disappointed that Namibia will not be competing at the 2016 Cosafa Under-20 Championships but understand their reasons for withdrawing from the competition. We are delighted to welcome a team of the calibre of Sudan though, and we are sure they will put on quite a show for fans. Sudan have proven themselves to be a quality team at Under-20 and senior national team level and we are sure they will be among the frontrunners for the title,” Cosafa’s Competitions Committee chairman Timothy Shongwe was quoted by the Cosafa media team.
Sudan won their place at the African Youth Championships by stunning the powerful Nigerians in the qualifiers and have been drawn in Group B at the finals where they will take on South Africa, Cameroon and Senegal.
The Democratic Republic of Congo are also to compete in South Africa as representatives of Central Africa, providing another fascinating contrast in styles for fans to enjoy.
Namibia Withdraws from Region Five Games
Meanwhile, New Era Sport understands that the Namibia Football Association (NFA) recently resolved to withdraw the women’s U/20 national team from the upcoming Region Five Games slated for Angola next month – also due to financial constraints. According to a NFA source, the association communicated the bad news with all the players and technical staff and hence released all the team’s personnel from the training camp. – Additional info: cosafa.com