Namibian players fail to make the cut for CAF awards

18 Oct 2016 18:10pm
WINDHOEK, 18 OCT (NAMPA) – No Namibian footballer has been nominated for the 2016 Confederation of African Football (CAF) awards.
The 2016 nominees for African Player of the Year and African Player of the Year-Based in Africa were announced by CAF on Sunday.
Only one Namibian, Zenatha Coleman, has made the list of nominees since CAF introduced the awards in 1992, some 35 years after the confederation was established.
Coleman was nominated for the CAF Women Footballer of the Year award in 2014 after her good performance during the Women’s African Cup of Nations held here the same year. She now plays in Lithuania.
No Namibian male has ever made the list of nominees.
Six players from the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) were nominated.
Keegan Dolly (South Africa), Khama Billet (Zimbabwe) and Dennis Onyango (Uganda), all from Mamelodi Sundowns, and Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune (South Africa) will contest the main prize of Best African Footballer. This category is open to all African players around the world.
Hlompho Kekaha (South Africa) and Yannick Zakri (Ivory Coast), both from Mamelodi Sundowns, are nominees for the CAF Player of the Year-Based in Africa.
Quizzed over the nominations, Namibian Coach Ricardo Mannetti said it will always be difficult for Namibian players to make it onto the lists, as they do not compete in the continent’s biggest competitions.
“In order for us to get our players onto the list, teams need to compete in such competitions where CAF scouts will also see them since the national team doesn’t play a lot of games to allow those scouts to see them,” Mannetti told Nampa on Tuesday.
The dormant domestic league makes the situation difficult, he said.
“We are having players who are currently in South Africa but they are playing for teams that are not in CAF competitions but for those at home (Namibia), the situation is not doing any justice to these players when nobody knows when the league will start,” said Mannetti.
The 2016/17 league was put on hold due to a lack of sponsorship. It was scheduled to start last month.