Namibian Premier League champions are going to lock horns with South African Premier Division side, Mamelodi Sundowns on 23 July for the 2015 version of the Dr Hage Geingob Cup.
At the same competition, Angolan champions, Primeiro de Agosto will play against a local premier league team that will be decided by means of a SMS voting system. Mamelodi Sundowns triumphed in the inaugural cup last year by beating African Stars 1-0 at the Independence stadium. Speaking at the launch of the Cup, Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and National Services, Agnes Tjongarero urged the corporate world to come together and support local football.
“Along with the Namibia Football Association (NFA) and the main sponsors, we have to come together and strategise. After 25 years of independence, we cannot still be talking about amateur football. We have to grow and have professional teams, and we can only do this with the help of the corporate world,” Tjongarero said.
President of the NFA, Frans Mbidi said the cup will go a long way to exposing local footballers to stiffer competition. “The cup is important as it will give our players more opportunities to test themselves against the best players on the subcontinent, which in turn will improve their overall ability as footballers,” further adding, “This will benefit our national teams immensely, particularly now that we are in the middle of a serious campaign for qualification to the Cup of Nations in 2017.” Representing MTC, one of the main sponsors of the cup, Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs Officer Tim Ekanjo said “local football is not just a game anymore but it is a business and players need to make a living from it.”
As such, about N$7m has been invested into the tournament, including accommodation fees for the foreign teams and participation fees for all the teams. The public is encouraged to vote for the local Premier League team they want to take part in the competition by sending an SMS with the team’s name to 5002. SMSes cost N$2 across both MTC and TN Mobile.