Namibia will hope return to Under-17 Championships is a happy one

Namibia will make a welcome return to the regional Under-17 competition having not competed since they finished third in 2018.

They were winners of the championship in 2016 but have only been to one of the last five tournaments due to a range of factors.

The team’s victory six years ago was a great day for Namibian football and showed the rich potential for the game in the country.

After beating hosts Mauritius 3-1 in their pool opener, they lost 4-0 to South Africa in the second game.

However, passage to the semifinals was assured after they stormed to a 4-1 success over Seychelles in their final pool match.

That had set up a daunting knockout meeting with Zambia, but the latter were disqualified after the first phase for fielding two overage players in their team.

It meant Namibia would face Malawi in the semifinals and after a 1-1 draw, they held their nerve to triumph 6-5 in the penalty shoot-out.

It would be good preparation for the final against South Africa as the teams again played to a 1-1 draw, with Namibia this time edging the penalty shoot-out 3-1 to claim their first ever continental title.

They came close again in 2017 after topping their pool following an 8-3 victory over Seychelles and 2-0 success against Botswana, to go with a 1-0 loss to home nation Mauritius.

They lost 2-0 to South Africa in the semifinals but beat Mauritius second time round 2-1 to claim bronze.

Unlike this year’s COSAFA Under-17 Championship, that tournament was not a qualifier for the African Under-17 finals though and they have still to make an appearance in the continental competition

The team has also yet to feature at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.


Last five tournament finishes:
2017 – Did not enter
2018 – Third
2019 – Did not enter
2020 – Did not enter
2021 – Did not enter