The secretary-general of the Namibian Football Association (NFA) Barry Rukoro says the Brave Warriors will follow the same programme as prior to the COSAFA Cup in preparation for the African Cup of Nations qualification tie against Senegal.
The senior national men’s football team’s defeat to Zambia in the African Nations’ Championship (CHAN) in Lusaka spelled the end of a run which had the national team playing regularly, clocking up nine matches in three months for the first time since last year.
On whether the two months before the tie against Senegal on 4 September will have any effect on the team, Rukoro was non-plussed.
“Not at all. If you look at our matches prior to the COSAFA Cup, we also did not have a busy run. So, that should not affect anything for the game against Senegal. We will follow our usual programme”, he stated.
Queried about whether the absence of a permanent coach not yet having been announced will affect the players’ preparations for this crucial match, Ruroko only pointed to the media release issued by NFA Public Relations’ Officer (PRO) Fillemon Vatilifa on 21 June.
The release read “Ricardo Mannetti, who is believed to have resigned, is still regarded by the NFA president, its Executive Committee and the General Secretariat as the National Team Head Coach. Furthermore, it should be noted that Mr Mannetti is still an employee of the NFA.
It is a fact that Mr. Mannetti has currently left his position due to what the Association believes to be a misunderstanding. However, the NFA is in the process of engaging him with a view to request him to resume his duties.”
However, it is apparent that Mannetti’s absence has already affected the team in some capacity, with Namibia no longer in the CHAN.
The defeat came at the hands of rivals Zambia, despite having taken a 2-1 aggregate lead to Lusaka.
Namibia now face the mammoth task of beating group leaders Senegal when they come to Namibia on 4 September.
Although the Brave Warriors would still have four matches after that game in September, defeat to Niger in what was initially reported as an easy group means it will take a massive effort to play catch-up should they lose to Senegal.