Mannetti cracks the whip on ill-disciplined players

07 Jun 2016 13:00pm
WINDHOEK, 07 JUN (NAMPA) – National senior football team coach Ricardo Mannetti has spelled out the ground rules following another breach of the team’s protocol by defender Chris Katjiukua over the weekend.
The defender, who plays for Golden Arrows in the South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) was suspended for the 2017 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers match against Niger because he got more yellow cards in the previous matches – four in total.
The Brave Warriors won the match 1-0 on Saturday, 04 June at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.
A statement availed to Nampa on Monday by the Namibia Football Association (NFA) stated that due to the number of yellow cards Katjiukua got, he was not allowed to play by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
As such, he was given special leave from the Brave Warrior camp on Tuesday and was expected to report back on Friday, but he only resurfaced on Monday.
“I allowed him to attend to some personal matters but he failed to report for camp on Friday and only came on Monday morning. To me, this again is very unacceptable since no reasons were given for the extension of this stay-away and this is not good for team morale.
“I need my senior players to lead by example and for all players to respect team protocol. Players need to show respect to the nation at all times,” the statement quotes Mannetti saying.
Speaking to Nampa on Tuesday, Mannetti said Katjiukua is out of the Brave Warriors’ camp and will not be participating in the team’s friendly match with Malawi on Wednesday.
“Katjiukua and Virgil Vries are currently not in camp and we have not yet decided if they will be part of the Cosafa squad or not, but the two players will face a disciplinary hearing from the Namibia Football Association soon. And after their hearing, the technical team can then decide if we can include them in our Cosafa squad.”
The coach said the team has a lot of ground rules that can take a whole day to explain and the players are all aware of what is expected of them while in camp.
The statement also added that winger Willy Stephanus has requested to be released from camp to attend trials in Vietnam, reminiscent of his antics during this time last year.
In June 2015, Stephanus was part of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) team and featured in the first leg against Zambia, only to disappear for the second leg.
“He informed the technical team and we agreed to release him as we cannot have players who are not 100 per cent committed to the team mentally. We have to work with players we have and who are ready to play. Between now and 25 June, we do not need any distractions or ill discipline in this team,” stated Mannetti.
Namibia will play a friendly match against Malawi in Windhoek on Wednesday before the team leaves for Lusaka to take on Zambia at the Nkoloma Stadium on Sunday, 12 June in another Cosafa Cup preparation match.