Britz rubbishes bias, tribalism claims

WINDHOEK

12 November 2020 | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMI

Football critics should stop complaining every chance they get.

This according to Young Warriors coach James Britz, who said the selection for the provisional training squad for the 2020 Cosafa men’s under-20 championship was done in fairness to every player involved.

Complaints have been circling after a 30-man training squad was announced ahead of the upcoming championship, which will be held in South Africa from 15 December.

According to critics, coaches are biased and tribalist regarding player selection.

Allegations rubbished

Allegations have been made that most of the players in the training squad hail from the Khomas Region, ignoring those from the Kavango regions.

Furthermore, critics have claimed that only Otjiherero- and Khoekhoegowab-speaking players made the cut.

Britz rubbished these claims, saying 75 players from all regions were called up for trials.

He added that some players made it to the trials and others didn’t.

The coach said they started cutting players from the team based their performance at training matches, and with 30 players left, 10 still need to be cut.

‘Khomas has an edge’

He explained that sometimes players perform well regionally, falter once they reach national trials.

“It has nothing to do with favouritism. Yes, Khomas-based players have an edge over the others because they have been playing football and are fitter than the rest,” the coach said.

This because the region is host to an active competition, the Hopsol League, he said.

“This, however, is also not a guarantee that they will make the first 11.

“There might be players from other regions who did much better than them in the trials and will form part of the first team with regards to the style we want them to play,” Britz said.

‘Complaints will always be there’

“I had parents calling to ask why their sons didn’t make the training squad. Yes, the player can be good, but these parents don’t attend training matches to see what we see and how the other players are performing. We are not doing this selection for ourselves, but for the rest of the country,” he said.

“Complaints will always be there. But I don’t take it personally because we are operating fairly,” Britz stressed.

He further added the team they lost eight potential first 11 players due to exams, but are focused on doing the best with those available.

Meanwhile, the only players in the Windhoek-based camp at the moment are those from outside regions. Britz, however, said the rest of the players will join on Monday in hopes of playing friendly matches to boost their confidence ahead of the competition.

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