The Southern Times Writer
Windhoek - Namibia’s national team, the Brave Warriors, will not take part in the 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) finals citing coronavirus as the reason.
CHAN 2020 is scheduled to take place in Cameroon between 4-25 April but officials in charge of the national set-up have already indicated that they would not be sending the boys to the West African country.
Acting Secretary General of the Namibia Football Association (NFA), Franco Cosmos, revealed that the football association took the decision to withdraw from the CHAN finals in the wake of various directives.
“Following the directives by the head of state Dr Hage Geingob, the Minister of Sports Erastus Uutoni as well as FIFA lately, the NFA informs all stakeholders unequivocally that the Brave Warriors will not participate in any competition, including the CHAN Finals 2020 in Cameroon,” he said.
He added that the football association has enough evidence that resulted in its decision to withdraw from the CHAN finals and suspending all football activities under their jurisdiction.
“Going forward, we shall continue to liaise with stakeholders in assessing the situation,” he said.
The NFA has suspended all football activities under its jurisdiction with immediate effect due to the coronavirus.
The suspension followed the directive from President Hage Geingob prohibiting a gathering of more than 50 people at one place in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
At the time of writing, Namibia only had two cases of coronavirus confirmed but the government has already moved to contain the virus from spreading further.
As a result, NFA has decided to follow suit and ban people from playing football from grassroots to top level.
It means even the national team, the Brave Warriors’ preparatory match at Swakopmund on Saturday was cancelled and the African Nations Championships (CHAN) training camp suspended until further notice.
This also means that the much anticipated The Namibian Newspaper Under 20 cup scheduled for the Easter holidays has been postponed.
““The health of everyone is very important and we need to follow protocols as we receive them from relevant authorities. It’s a virus that has engulfed the world-over and we have to play our part in controlling its devastating effects,” said Cosmos.
Cosmos said this directive was also in-line with that of FIFA and that he expected the Confederation of African Football (CAF) this week to be clearer regarding football activities on the continent.
“We anticipate that by this week the CAF Medical Team will pronounce themselves after they visited Cameroon recently and a decision regarding continental tournaments,” he said.