November 20 - Namibia's women's football team have been put forward to represent Africa at the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.
The Namibian Football Association (NFA) announced today that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) had nominated them to take part in the Games between August 16 and 28 in two years time.
"The development of the women's game in Namibia is becoming enviable and CAF duly recognised that fact and selected Namibia to send their under-15 girls' team to the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in China," said John Muinjo, President of the NFA.
Unlike the senior Olympics, there is no qualifying process and each continental associaton nominates a country to represent them at the Youth Games.
At Singapore in 2010, when the Youth Olympics were held for the first time, Equatorial Guinea's women represented Africa in the six country tournament.
They won the silver medals, only losing in the final 5-3 on penalties to Chile.
"If organisations like CAF and FIFA are recognising you for the work you do you have to know that you are doing the right thing," said Barry Rukoro, the secretary general of the NFA.
"I am personally delighted about this one and we will make sure we have the best team possible and ready, to do Africa proud.
"The nomination was taken based on the best development programme on the continent rather than qualification."
Namibia has one of the most vibrant programmes in Africa for young female footballers, mainly thanks to the Galz and Goals initiative, a UNICEF supported programme started three years ago in Windhoek to help get more girls in the country playing sport.
Launched by former German international Nia Künzer, the programme uses sport as a platform to promote individual health and social responsibility, aiming to empower girls and young women to achieve their goals.
"I am very excited about the news that CAF has selected Namibia to represent Africa at this competition," said Jackey Gertze, head of the women's desk at the NFA.
"The NFA deserves this opportunity for the millions it has spent together with the Government and its partners on the Galz and Goals project."
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