Blackburn Rovers will not allow defender Ryan Nyambe to play for Namibia during the international period due to coronavirus travel restrictions.
Rovers opted against releasing the 23-year-old for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea in Windhoek on 28 March, as Namibia is on the United Kingdom’s red list of countries with a travel ban imposed on them.
The club informed the Namibia FA that Nyambe, whose current deal with Rovers expires in June, will not join the national side, as he would be required to quarantine at a government-approved facility for 10 days following his return to the UK.
That would have ruled him out of Blackburn’s English Championship matches against Wycombe on 2 April and Bournemouth on 5 April. And depending on his travel arrangements, Nyambe could also have missed the clash against Cardiff on 10 April. Capped seven times by Namibia, the bustling defender yesterday said he was gutted about not being able to help the Brave Warriors in the must-win clash.
“I won’t be coming this month for the qualifiers. The club won’t be releasing me, as Namibia is on the red list, and I will have to isolate when I return,” Nyambe told the NFA website.
Namibia need to beat Guinea to qualify for the finals in Cameroon. The Warriors were handed a three-point lifeline following Chad’s expulsion from the qualifiers.
Chad, of which the national federation was disbanded by the government, were due to host Namibia in N’Djamena on 24 March before travelling to face Mali in Bamako on 28 March.
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Already qualified for the continental showpiece tournament, Mali were also awarded three points to tally 13. This leaves Guinea (8) and Namibia (6) to fight for the second qualifier from Group A.
“We have the team to do the job. I can’t contribute now, but the lads are good enough to do it. We have the players to do it,” said Nyambe.
Brave Warriors coach Bobby Samaria needs to find a solution to compensate for the reliable versatile Nyambe’s absence.”We received the letter from his club, and we have to accept it and move on. We would have loved to have him, but we need to understand and be prepared for anything these days and times. We will await more feedback from the clubs of the foreign-based players and plan accordingly,” said Samaria.
Other European-based Brave Warriors in a similar situation are midfielders Manfred Starke in Germany and Wangu Gome Batista in Armenia.
Samaria still has the following players to work with:
Goalkeepers – Lloyd Kazapua, Virgil Vries, Edward Maova, Ratanda Mbazuvara, and Ndisiro Kamaijanda.
Defenders – Tiberius Lombard, Ananias Gebhardt, Immanuel Heita, Riaan Hanamub, Ivan Kamberipa, Emilio Martin, Amazing Kandjii, Vitapi Ngaruka, Aprocius Petrus, Denzil Haoseb, and Charles Hambira.
Midfielders – Deon Hotto, Wangu Gome, Dynamo Fredericks, Aubrey Amseb, Wendell Rudath, Absalom Iimbondi, Marcel Papama, Prins Tjiueza, Willy Stephanus, Alfeus Handura, Wesley Katjiteo, Manfred Starke, and Steven Damaseb.
Forwards – Peter Shalulile, Derl Goagoseb, Elmo Kambindu, Issaskar Gurirab, Joslin Kamatuka, and Salomon Omseb.