Stay focused - Hamata

The Brave Warriors are one match away from knowing if they will travel to Egypt for Afcon 2019 or not.

10 January 2019 | Sports

Local football analyst Isack Hamata says Namibians must shy away from focusing on the fact that Egypt has been granted the hosting rights for the 2019 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).

Hamata believes that focusing on where Africa's biggest football showpiece will be held, while the Brave Warriors are yet to qualify, could be a major distraction.

It was announced on Tuesday that Afcon 2019 will be held in Egypt after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) stripped Cameroon of its hosting rights late last year.

At the time many Namibians had hoped that South Africa would get the nod to host Afcon 2019, given the short distance between Namibia and its neighbour.

South Africa had in fact thrown its hat into the ring, but were soundly beaten by Egypt in the bidding war.

Hamata said where the tournament will be held is not important at this stage, given that the Brave Warriors have not qualified as yet.

“At this stage, we should not be bothered with where Afcon will take place.

“It would definitely have been in the favour of the Brave Warriors and their supporters if the finals were to be held in South Africa, but CAF has decided otherwise.

“Our focus should be on preparing very well to beat Zambia on 22 March and qualify for the Afcon finals. Everything else will just be an unnecessary distraction,” Hamata said.

Namibia's northern neighbours, Zambia, stand in the way of Afcon qualification glory.

The fact that Mozambique are lurking just one point behind the Brave Warriors makes the scenario a very tricky one for the Namibian team and their supporters.

A win for Mozambique against Guinea-Bissau and a defeat for Namibia against Zambia will certainly end the country's hopes of reaching Afcon 2019.

A draw for Mozambique and a defeat for the Brave Warriors will also guarantee Namibia a spot at the African football spectacle.

Guinea-Bissau are currently leading Group K with eight points, with Namibia on the same total.

Mozambique are in third place on seven points, while Zambia are out of the race after securing only four points so far.

The group winners and runners-up will qualify for the 32nd edition of the Total African Cup of Nations, which will be hosted by Egypt from 15 June to 13 July 2019.

Namibia are seeking to make their third appearance at the tournament, after qualifying for the 1998 and 2008 editions.

Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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