Rukoro optimistic about 2019 AFCON qualifiers

14 Jan 2017 11:20am
WINDHOEK, 14 JAN (NAMPA) – Namibia Football Association (NFA) Secretary General, Barry Rukoro is optimistic about Namibia’s chances of qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) if they put their resources and energy together.
Senior national football team the Brave Warriors were on Thursday drawn in Group K for the 2019 Afcon qualifiers. The 2019 edition of the continental show piece will be be held in Cameroon.
The Namibians were drawn alongside their neighbours and arch rival Zambia and Mozambique, while west African nation Guinea-Bissau completed the group of four.
Speaking to Nampa on Friday, Rukoro said if all resources are put in place Namibia has a good chance of qualifying for the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in 2019.
“At the moment we are having a crisis with football in the country that we have to deal with urgently. I am hopeful that if everything is resolved with our local league, we can fairly challenge for a spot in the Afcon finals,” he said.
Rukoro added that Namibia would have been drawn in a better group but the team’s lower International Federation of Football Associations (Fifa) ranking left them at a disadvantage.
“In our group we are the third highest ranked team, which means we were drawn from a lower pot and put in a group with some of the teams that are ranked higher.
“But African football has grown so much that we no longer have minor teams. Our chance to prove ourselves is now, but first we need to get our house in order because without a league it will be difficult to compete with teams that have players that play competitive football daily,” said Rukoro.
The Namibia Premier League (NPL) is still battling to secure sponsorship for the 2016/2017 league competition.
In Group K Guinea-Bissau is the highest ranked team on the latest Fifa ranking. They are ranked 68th, Zambia are second ranked 88th, while Namibia is ranked 100th and Mozambique is ranked 106th.
The 2019 AFCON group stages match-day one is scheduled for 05 to 13 June 2017. Namibia will travel to Guinea-Bissau before hosting Zambia on match-day two in March 2018.