07 Jul 2017 12:00pm
By Maqonda Ndlovu
RUSTENBURG, 07 JUL (NAMPA) Brave Warriors fell 62 places on the International Federation of Football Associations (Fifa) world rankings released Thursday, moving from position 94 last month to 156th.
Namibia were the worst movers.
The national team last played a competitive game on 03 September last year in the 2016 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier in Dakar. They lost that match to Senegal by two goals to nil and were effectively knocked out of the qualifying race.
Speaking to Nampa in Rustenburg where his team was preparing to face South Africa in the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Plate final Friday, Coach Ricardo Mannetti said the lack of competitive games is a contributing factor.
We have not played a single match on all the Fifa dates since we played Senegal. We missed about three weeks, which could translate to six games as other countries play two games during the Fifa dates, plus we were not at Afcon where other teams played at least three games, Mannetti explained.
He said one of his mandates was to bring Namibia into the top 100 ranked countries and they managed to achieve that, but all that hard work has gone to waste now.
The past two years were very good for Namibian football but when things went bad, I warned everyone that such things would happen. The rankings are a true reflection of what is happening in our football, Mannetti said.
He once again called on the responsible authorities to stop fighting at the expense of football, and pleaded with them to fix the situation as soon as possible as worse things are likely to happen if the situation is not arrested as soon as possible.
The Brave Warriors gaffer had strong parting shots to those calling for his head, saying: Even if they remove me from this position, the rankings will not improve as long as football is still in the doldrums. I have shown the Namibian nation what I can do under normal circumstances.
The unavailability of financial support has seen the Namibia Premier league (NPL) and other lower leagues unable to play competitive football for more than a year now.
Leadership squabbles also saw former NPL Chairperson Johnny Doeseb resign last year, creating a leadership vacuum which has led to potential sponsors refusing to sign agreements with the interim committee.
This has led to the NFA imposing a leadership structure, a move rejected by some NPL clubs.