I am the happiest Namibian today! – Geingob

Hage Geingob

President Hage Geingob expressed his happiness following the Brave Warriors’ sweet victory over north African powerhouse Tunisia in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) 2023 opening match in Korthogo, Ivory Coast, on Tuesday.

Geingob, who is also the patron of the Namibia Football Association (NFA), posted on X that no “small teams” are playing at the tournament.

“First-class soccer on display from a first-class team. I am the happiest Namibian today!” he posted.

Geingob was a footballer himself and became the patron of the national football body when serving as Namibia’s prime minister.

The Dr Hage Geingob Cup has been named after the president.

After an absence of active football of nearly three years, Namibia’s domestic premier league is now up and running, including the first and second divisions.

The Brave Warriors rewrote their Afcon campaign trail having recorded their first-ever victory at the continental football spectacle.

Namibia last played Tunisia in 2007 in an international friendly in which the Carthage Eagles hammered the Brave Warriors 2-0.

The teams will take on each other in the 2026 Africa International Federation of Football Associations (Fifa) world cup qualifiers in June and October.

Namibia is now seated second on three points in group E.

Top in the group is Mali, who trounced South Africa’s Bafana Bafana 2-0, while the wounded Tunisian side is placed third.

Minister of sport, youth and national service Agnes Tjongarero yesterday congratulated the technical team and players, adding that the senior national team has done nothing but made every Namibian proud.

“Keep concentrating on the task at hand, and focus on the next mission now, that of annihilating Bafana Bafana on Sunday.

“I am confident we are going to beat them.”

Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) chief administrator Freddy Mwiya, who today will depart for Ivory Coast, yesterday said:

“The victory over Tunisia is one of the biggest achievements – especially at Afcon . . . “Most players got the needed experience during the 2019 showdown in Egypt, and have now shown their hunger and thirst for more achievement.”

The NSC chief has baptised the current Brave Warriors team the “club of 2023” after recording the country’s first-ever win at an Afcon.

Former Brave Warriors captain Bimbo Tjihero cautiously called on the Brave Warriors technical team to carry on with their first

11 against South Africa. “Bafana Bafana’s match on Sunday will be a tricky one, as they have no intention of exiting the tournament. So we have to make sure they do not come running over us.”

He added: “It is going to be a very difficult match against South Africa, and though they lost 2-0 to Mali, they have put up a good performance.”

He said the most important thing is that the technical team has a lethal strategy against Bafana Bafana.

Blue Waters FC head coach Lucky Shipanga yesterday said the Brave Warriors have the pace, speed and talent to upset South Africa.

Former Brave Warriors defender Robert Nauseb said: “It’s going to be a difficult game, because most of our players play in South Africa, except Ryan Nyambe, Approcius Petrus and Prins Tjiueza.

“It’s certainly going to be easy and difficult at the same time, and all that is truly needed is a strategy.”

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