Namibia will not defend Cosafa U-17 title

12 Jun 2017 15:20pm
WINDHOEK, 12 JUN (NAMPA) – Namibia will not participate in the 2017 Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Under-17 Championship slated for 21 to 30 July in Mauritius.
Namibia won the competition held in the same country last year.
In a media statement issued on Monday, Namibia Football Association (NFA) President Frans Mbidi confirmed the withdrawal.
“Due to the well-known fact of budget cuts across the board in the country, we are unable, together with the government, to send the team for the Cosafa Under-17 Championship,” he said.
Mbidi said it is a great pity for this to happen after Namibia won the cup last year, but “we need to face reality”.
He, however, said the Brave Warriors will compete in the Cosafa Castle Cup in Rustenburg, South Africa. They face Lesotho in the quarterfinals on 01 July 2017.
“It is about priorities for now, until the situation in the country normalises,” he explained.
Contacted for comment, NFA Secretary-General Barry Rukoro said the association is facing financial difficulties, hence they have had to make tough decisions such as withdrawing the Under-17s from the tournament.
“Our budget was cut by 67 per cent this year. This means we cannot do some things that we used to do in the past,” he said.
Hosts Mauritius headline Group A, where they are joined this year in the pool by Zimbabwe, Botswana and Malawi.
Last year’s beaten finalists, South Africa, are in Group B, along with heavyweights Zambia, Mozambique and Madagascar.