Guest Contributor | Feb 27, 2024 | 0
Heroes’ welcome for Brave Warriors at State House despite AFCON exit
By Adolf Kaure.
Namibia’s Vice President Nangolo Mbumba congratulated the Namibia men’s senior soccer team after arriving back from their participation in the CAF (Confederation of African Football) TotalEnergies African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 in the Ivory Coast.
Popularly known as the Tafel Lager Brave Warriors, Namibia was knocked out of the tournament by neighbours Angola with a 3-0 score during a second round encounter which took place at the Laurent Pokou Stadium in San Pedro, Ivory Coast.
Speaking at a luncheon at State House to welcome the team which made history for reaching unchartered territory by advancing out of the group stages of the competition for the first time, Mbumba said that despite the exit, the nation is proud of their efforts.
“As a nation, we acknowledge with thanks, the team’s exceptional display and achievement on the international stage, against all odds.” “My message to you is, no matter the result and elimination out of the tournament, lift your heads up and be proud of what you have achieved.” “You have done a lot, you have made history for yourselves and for your country,” said Mbumba.
He highlighted Namibia’s win over one of the tournament’s pre-tournament favourites, Tunisia as one of the most memorable matches of the competition.
“The Brave Warriors played one of the best games at the tournament by defeating one of the highly ranked nation and 2004 AFCON champion, Tunisia.” “This was indeed a historic moment for the Brave Warriors. That win took us to our first ever knockout stage.”
“It was the first time, the Brave Warriors, reached this milestone at the AFCON tournament.” “Therefore, we want to unequivocally say to our team, once again, well done, you played well. You showed resilience and sportsmanship in the face of a very tough competition,” he said.
The Vice President also encouraged the team to learn from the experience and see it as valuable learning opportunity. “As you continue in your playing career, or any other challenging situation you may face in life, learn from this experience, the lessons of resilience and determination, as key to success,” he said.
Namibia will draw their attention to the 2026 FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) World Cup Qualifiers. A minimum of nine African countries will progress to the World Cup, along with an intercontinental playoff for a potential tenth country.
The Tafel Lager Brave Warriors currently occupies third place in Group H with three points. Group H consists of Namibia, Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, Malawi, Liberia and São Tomé and Príncipe.
The showpiece tournament takes place in the United States of America, Canada and Mexico two years from now.