Brave Warriors leave for Pointe-Noire for second leg of CAF Nations Cup

WINDHOEK: The Brave Warriors leave for Pointe-Noire for the crucial second leg of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Nations Cup qualifiers against Congo-Brazzaville on Saturday without experienced striker Henrico Botes and midfielder Lazarus Kaimbi.

The Warriors, who lead the fixture 1-0 after a Rudolph Bester goal in Windhoek a fortnight ago, had included veteran striker Botes for their preparations for the second leg to be played in Pointe-Noire on Sunday.

A statement availed to Nampa by the Namibia Football Association (NFA) on Tuesday said Platinum Stars striker Botes is not fit enough to be considered for selection.

Thailand-based Kaimbi was also not be available for selection after his club declined to release him for the return leg, citing a busy league schedule.

Tangeni Shipahu of Ostospa, also in Thailand, is expected to meet up with the rest of the squad in Congo-Brazzaville if he makes the final 18 player list for the encounter.

If they do overcome Congo-Brazzaville and reach the next preliminary qualifying round, the Brave Warriors will again likely be hit by clubs’ refusal to release some players after the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) confirmed that clubs do not have to release players because the dates of the preliminary matches fall outside of FIFA’s calendar for international matches.