30 Jun 2016 21:10pm
WINDHOEK, 30 JUN (NAMPA) - The recent Council of Southern Africa Football Association (Cosafa) Castle Cup held in the capital was a success, according to local football fundis.
The tournament took place from 11-25 June 2016 with 14 teams from the region taking part.
Speaking to Nampa recently, Local Organising committee (LOC) Chairperson Rodger Kambatuku said they are very happy with the how the tournament went.
From what we set out to do we exceeded our expectations according to what Cosafa is saying. As the LOC we are happy with the commitment from our members.
We sourced new people from the regions and mixed them with those who worked during the Womens championship. Before the tournament we were a bit skeptic if they would be able to handle the work involved. We are also happy with how the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation handled the broadcast of the tournament, he noted.
With regards to the fans, Kambatuku said they are happy with how the Namibian fans conducted themselves.
They proved that they love football. We are also happy with the partnership we had with Cosafa, as it treated us as partners not as owners of the tournament. They did not put unreasonable demands on us.
We are also happy with the general attendance by the fans as this was one of the best-attended Cosafa Cup finals of recent times, after the one held in Zambia in 2013. In the final, Namibia did not play but the stadium was almost full. Even Cosafa themselves attested to this, he said.
Former Namibian Football Association President, John Muinjo pointed out that Namibia once again proved its capabilities of holding major tournaments.
We hosted a good tournament; this is evidenced by the fact that our Head of State, Dr Hage Geingob attended most of the games to show our governments commitment to the tournament, he said.
Muinjo was also happy with the standard of football displayed by the teams - some mixed youth and experience.
We also had challenges, for example we had an overflow of fans for the Namibia-Botswana game. Thats a warning to the authorities that we must increase the capacity of our stadiums, not only in Windhoek but in the regions as well. We must be able to host such tournaments in other places and we can only do so if we have that infrastructure outside Windhoek, he noted.
In terms of the legacy, Muinjo said they had a referees workshop before the tournament, where besides the referees who were selected for the tournament, 12 Namibian match officials were trained along their colleagues for experience purposes. They will use that experience to handle local matches.
Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti said he was blown away by the support from the locals.
The Sam Nujoma has never been filled up the way it was during our game against Botswana. That alone tells you our people love football. They now must fill it up regularly, win or lose the stadium must be filled up! he added.
South Africa won the final by three goals to two against Botswana for a record fourth time.