Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth & National Service, Emma Kantema-Gaomas, addressed the Brave Warriors at the AFCON village in Bouake, Ivory Coast, on Sunday, a day after their exit from the Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
Despite exiting the AFCON competition with a 3-0 defeat against Angola on Saturday, the Brave Warriors have achieved the unexpected, and the team needs to build on that experience moving forward, said Emma Kantema-Gaomas, the Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth & National Service.
Namibia came into the tournament without a single victory in their previous participation in the AFCON, and they have turned the tables with history rewritten not once but twice in the same edition.
“Firstly, for you to qualify, that is not easy; it already means you are winners. How many teams have made it this far? It is something we take pride in. Secondly, for the first time, we have managed to get out of the group stage; it's a historic moment, so you carried the hopes and aspirations of the whole nation. This is something that no one should take away from you; it is an experience that will last. So let's build on that. It did not end in the way we anticipated, but it is either you win or you learn, for us, we learned a lot”Kantema- Gaomas said.
The Deputy Minister further stated that as the government, they will need to work on development and talent nurturing and tailor programs to help drive the agenda, ultimately improving the level of performance.
The Deputy Minister concluded her briefing by thanking the players and the technical team for what they have done. She further reminded the team about the overwhelming support from back home and emphasized the power of sport.
“The nation, the support back home was overwhelming; you could see different fan parks. I attended some. Sport plays a role in uniting the nation; sport plays a role in promoting social cohesion. The flag was flying high” she added.
On his part, the head coach, Collin Benjamin, thanked the Ministry for the support they have received over the years since the 2018 African Nations Championship.