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Geingob Cup vs Ghana, a ‘serious friendly’ – Namibia coach

Namibia national team coach insists Saturday’s Dr Hage Geingob Cup match with Ghana’s Black Stars B is not “a meaningless friendly.”

The cup match, which was launched in 2015, is an annual event that honors the country’s president.

According to Mannetti, that is evident in the “strong” predominantly home-based 22-member Brave Warriors squad he named on Tuesday.

Mannetti is keen to retain the cup he won last year after beating Zimbabwe 3-1.

“This is the president’s cup. That’s why I’ve decided to give the president respect, and call up a very strong team to add value to that game. This is not an experimental game. We are taking it seriously. We want the cup to remain. I feel it makes sense for us to put on a good show,” said the Brave Warriors trainer.

Ghana’s squad, which arrived in Windhoek Thursday, consists wholly of relative unknowns beyond their borders, but that should not diminish the importance of the occasion, he added.

The Black Stars B’s ranks was further hit with the decision of giants Asante Kotoko’s refusal to release six of their players for the encounter, which falls outside of Fifa’s internationals calendar.

Felix Annan, Agyemang Badu, Abass Mohammed, Richard Senanu, Ganiu Ismail and Emmanuel Gyamfi were all excused from the squad on Monday “due to Caf Confederation Cup preparations”.

But Mannetti argues: “There’s an abundance of quality in Ghana. We’ve travelled there for many years with our junior teams, so we know what’s on the ground. The difference between players in the [Ghana] premier league and first division is not big at all.”

“Every year, they manage to export players directly to Europe from the Ghanaian league. So, that should tell you that there is a lot of quality, irrespective of a big club like Kotoko withdrawing their players. I’m not convinced they’ll be depleted.

“I’m still going to give 100% respect for the quality they have, and what they are known for,” he added.

The Namibia-Ghana match kicks off at 16h00 local time (14h00 GMT).

Namibia squad:

Ratanda Mbazuvara, Loydt Kazapua, Larry Horaeb, Emilio Martin, Vitapi Ngaruka, Dynamo Fredericks, Petrus Shitembi, Ronald Ketjijere, Immanuel Heita, Absalom Iimbondi, Willy Stephanus, Marcel Papama, Muna Katupose, Sadney Urikhob, Elmo Kambindu, Abel Paulus, Donovan Kanjaa, Kennedy Eib, Charles Hambira, Gregory Aukumeb, Aprocius Petrus, Benyamin Nenkavu.

Ghana squad:

1. Eric Ofori-Antwi 2. Robert Dabuo 3. Fatawu Mohammed 4. Kwadwo Amoako 5. Benjamin Agyare 6. Ibrahim Yaro 7. Habib Mohammed 8. Issah Yakubu 9. Ibrahim Moro 10. Justice Blay 11. Appiah McCarthy 12. Kwesi Donsu 13. Nii Armah Ashitey 14. Benjamin Tweneboa 15. Amos Addai 16. William Opoku Mensah 17. Kwame Boateng 18. Shafiu Mumuni




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