IT is reported that South African Premiership champions, Mamelodi Sundowns will bring their top players when the team lands here next month to defend the Dr Hage Geingob Cup crown that it has held for two years now.
We expect to draw football from Sundowns, their South African opponents Orlando Pirates and local champs Tigers plus another team that will be selected via SMS voting.
These teams are all busy preparing to come and showcase their best talent to Namibian football lovers which means we are in for a treat.
I however have a bone to pick with the promotion or lack thereof of this tournament by the local top flight clubs. The fourth team will enter the competition by SMS voting but little has been seen by way of promotion and advertising by the local premier league. Only newcomers Young Africans have been visible on social media urging their fans to vote them into the tournament.
Officials of certain clubs have openly criticised the criteria used to select the teams for the tournament while others are rather focusing their attention on securing funding for the new season.
This only serves to tell me one thing and that is that the criteria was not openly discussed with all concerned, especially the local clubs who must spend money to campaign to play for the right to earn N$400 000 appearance fees. For some clubs, that amount of money is sponsorship for the coming season.
One may think that the almost half a million dollars is enough to get clubs into top gear in terms of campaigning but one is also mindful of the fact that only one of the 15 clubs will get the nod through the SMS votes. What will happen to the rest? It is also common knowledge that not all clubs have big numbers of followers. Those clubs will rather save their money for the season proper and let the loaded clubs compete for the most votes in the Dr Hage Geingob Cup.
Perhaps the organisers should think of dangling a sweetener for the clubs, such as providing each of them a certain amount of money as per the number of votes collected. That will perhaps encourage clubs to mobilise fans to vote for them. Beyond just wanting to get into the competition, I believe the voting criterion was also put in place to generate interest among fans. That is also an opportunity for the organisers to engage the supporters directly through incentives.
As things are, the organisers are only seen at the launch of the tournament and on the day of the tournament. In between, it is up to the clubs to spend their time and resources to get people to vote and get them to the stadium.
Are officials and fans justified to ask what is in it for them? Shouldn’t the cake be shared with all stakeholders? Why is it only the organisers who are said to receive compensation for organising the event? What about the teams and fans who would have made it possible by bringing feet to the stadium?
I am just asking.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015