NFA development crisis

Namibia will not be competing at the Cosafa under-20 championship for the fourth time in a row.

03 December 2019 | Sports

Namibia will miss out on this year's Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) under-20 championship because the country does not have a team to compete at the tournament.

The championship is taking place in Zambia from 4 to 14 December, with 12 Southern African teams competing for top honours.

Fifa normalisation committee chairperson Hilda Basson-Namundjebo confirmed yesterday there is no national u-20 team in place at the moment.

“I believe the biggest issue here is that we do not have development structures in place and we therefore can't have an under-20 team.

“The talent is there, but we need development structures first before we can assemble a team.

“As we speak, there is no development officer and that is why there is no team,” Basson-Namundjebo said.

Last year, Namibia failed to participate in the tournament after the football association struggled to get money for the competition.

The under-20 team needed around N$1.2 million to travel to different countries, which they failed to raise.

It is, however, a different scenario this time around, given that the association does not have a team to send to Zambia.

“Jakes Amaning was the association's development officer and we all know that he is no longer there.

“It will be the job of the incoming administration and the technical director to make sure that a development officer is appointed and that youth structures are in place.

“The important thing that we want here is the scouting of young players from all regions across the country,” Basson-Namundjebo said.

The Cosafa u-20 championship is a development tournament that over the years has produced top-quality players, who have gone on to forge successful careers as professional footballers and in their respective national teams.

Zambia are the most successful nation in the Cosafa under-20 championship, with 11 victories in all. Their last win was in 2016.

South Africa have traditionally been one of the powerhouses in the region in under-20 football and will be looking to defend the crown they won in Kitwe. They have won the competition eight times in all, with their first title coming in 2000.

They also hosted the tournament for 11 consecutive years between 1999 and 2009. This year's participants are Angola, Botswana, South Africa, Comoros Islands, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles and Zambia.

Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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