Brave Gladiator’s captain Zenatha Coleman has lashed out at the Namibia Football Association (NFA) management for treating women’s football as a sideshow.
The NFA on Tuesday said Namibia wold not take part in the 2020 COSAFA Women’s and Under-17 Championships due to lack of preparations because of COVID-19.
In contrast, the men’s team, Brave Warriors played a hastily arranged friendly against neighbours South Africa earlier in October.
In a Facebook post, Spain-based Coleman said, “Dear NFA as part of the Brave Gladiators and captain, we are very disappointed to know that the national team won’t be participating in the Women's Cosafa. Girls live off from soccer, most do not even work nor go to school, finding a job is hard.
“A potential professional contract could have been on the table for some of these players but again you denied them this too. We are ranked 143 in the world. It’s very painful because we only play qualifiers for Afcon and World Cup and can't make it through to the next round because of poor preparations. We need to see a change ...Give the Gladiators the necessary support and equal treatment.”
Franco Cosmos, acting secretary-general of the NFA, said they had lacked quality time to prepare the team as the main factor for the withdrawal.
“We have to be realistic about the situation. We all know the impact of COVID-19 and whenever we send a team out, we want them to compete and not just participate. Therefore due to limited time to prepare thoroughly, the FA opted to withdraw from the COSAFA women championships. We can’t send two national teams that are not ready,” Cosmos said.
The 2020 COSAFA Women’s Championships take place in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa on November 3-14.
At last year’s tourney, Coleman banged in four goals as Namibia crushed Mauritius by 8-0 in their final Group B match at Gelvandale Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Namibia finished the group third behind leaders Zambia and Botswana, and ahead of Mauritius.