We are in a tough group: Benjamin

WINDHOEK: The finals of the 2023 Ivory Coast TotalEnergies Confederation of African Football (CAF) Cup of Nations are fast approaching, and Namibia’s senior national football team coach, Collin Benjamin says it is time to start working hard.

The official draw for the 24 African nations took place in Abidjan on Thursday, with Namibia placed in Group E alongside neighbours South Africa, Mali, and Tunisia.

The tournament is scheduled for 13 January to 11 February 2023 and will be held in six venues across the Ivory Coast. Namibia will be based in the northern city of Korhogo.

In an interview with Nampa on Friday, Benjamin said the best 24 teams on the continent now know who they will be facing at the competition, therefore Namibia must prepare well.

“Our group is tough, with three of the best teams in Africa, and we’ll all be fighting for top honours. As a country we should do our part and then let the beauty of the game dictate what will happen,” he added.

To prepare well for this competition, Benjamin is using his time in Ivory Coast to go on a familiarisation tour of the city that will host Namibia. However, he also said they need funding to prepare well and to compete against the best teams.

“The football federation does not have funds, so our hope is now with the government. We don’t know how much they are going to give us, but we need funds as early as possible for us to start preparing,” he said.

Benjamin stated that with the Afcon finals slated for January, his intention is to start preparing right after Christmas, in a similar environment as the one they will compete in.

“We want to do better than we did at the past Afcon finals, and that means we should start preparing early for this competition,” he concluded.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

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