April: Absence of league causes Brave Warriors’ ranking dip

Improvement needed

21 February 2021 | Sports

Collin April; Namibian player agent; “The players’ movements are not up to standard.”

Walvis Bay • [email protected]

Namibia dropped two places in the latest FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) Coca Cola World Rankings, from 119 to 121.

The rankings were released by the football governing body on Thursday.

The national team’s points also declined from 1147 to 1143. The Brave Warriors are currently ranked 31 in Africa out of 54 countries.

According to Namibian player agent based in Walvis Bay, Collin April, the drop in the rankings is ascribed to the lack of domestic football in the country. “Playing only national games doesn’t do much to the rankings. The players’ movement are not up to standard. There is no talk of Namibian football in the world. It all has a negative impact on the Brave warriors ranking.

“Even if we have players in other leagues like the South African DStv premier league, it does not do enough for the national team,” he said.

Despite this, a few Namibians are thriving in neighbouring leagues.

April is the player agent of Orlando Pirates‘ winger Deon Hotto (30).

Hotto has impressed with the Buccaneers as he recently netted the fasted ever DStv Premiership goal when he found the net after only 47 seconds during their encounter against Cape Town City.

“As his agent I am very excited. Deon has the ambition and has what it takes to become a household name in the South African league.
“[However] playing for Orlando Pirates comes with pressure. As a player, you need to keep your form. I trust and believe that day by day he will improve and give Namibia the necessary exposure,” said April.

Hotto success

The Swakopmund-born and raised Hotto also lifted his first piece of silverware as his goal in the final was crucial in ensuring that Pirates secured a 2-1 victory over his former side, Bloemfontien Celtic, in the MTN8 final, in so-doing ending a six-year trophy-less spell for the Soweto-based club.

Pirates are now placed fifth in the DStv Premiership log standing, having amassed 28 points from 17 games.

They are currently eight points behind three-times defending Premiership champions, Mamelodi Sundowns.

The form of the Pretoria-based side has been inspired by an in-form Peter Shalulilie (27), who has bulged the net eight times in 16 matches in the league, only five less than leading goal scorer, Bradley Globler of Supersport United.

“Shalulile is a hardworker. What Shalulile is doing, is unbelievable. It is out of this world.

“I will not be surprised if a European club acquires his services,” he said.

Namibia lost two of their three group games (0-3 versus Guinea, 0-1 versus Tanzania; 0-0 versus Zambia) of this year’s CAF (Confederation of African Football) CHAN (African Nations Championship) which were held in Cameroon, a competition in which they reached the quarter finals in 2018.

The CAF CHAN is a competition where only home-based players are eligible to take part.

The Brave Warriors’ 2022 CAF AFCON (African Cup of Nations) qualifiers campaign has also not been pretty reading, with three losses (0-1 versus Mali; 1-2 versus Mali; 0-2 versus Guinea) and a solitary victory (2-1 versus Chad).

Namibia’s highest FIFA Coca Cola ranking was in 1998, when they were ranked number 69.

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