By John Tuerijama
THE announcement that Debmarine Namibia will be the new sponsor of the NFA Cup has been welcomed by football fans but some club officials are worried about the scheduling of the tournament which is set to kick off in February next year.
As a result of the Namibia Premier League’s failure to kick off in September as initially designated, clubs have sent their players home as they were unable to pay salaries.
Now they will be expected to recall those players to have them ready for the Debmarine Namibia Cup; the flagship national cup tournament in which all the different leagues from across the country will participate.
One of those who says his players are not ready for the Debmarine Namibia Cup is Blue Waters team manager, Tostao Iimbili who confirmed that his players have not yet been registered as per norm.
“We have not registered our players since they are all on holiday after we suspended the pre-season training,” said Iimbili.
He said Blue Waters are not ready for the Debmarine Namibia Cup nor are they prepared for the pronounced February 2017 kick off of the league, adding that the shenanigans in football have greatly demoralised the players.
“The league has not secured a substantive sponsor, yet we are being told that it will kick off in February next year. I hope the NPL will solicit funds for the league to start otherwise we are not ready,” stressed Iimbili.
Otjiwarongo-based Life Fighters FC Chairman, Anton Kake, said his players, who have been released to go to their respective homes for the festive season, are not yet registered and pre-season training has been put on hold since NPL failed to get a sponsor.
He, however, said anything towards the development of football is welcome as it benefits both players and coaches.
Citizens FC owner, Dawid Goagoseb, said although he has no qualms with the Debmarine Namibia Cup dates, he described the status quo of the NPL as painful following its failure to secure a sponsor.
“We have to play and we must find a way to play. It will be a huge disappointment if the NPL does not find a sponsor and there is no way that the Debmarine Namibia Cup will start if the 2017/18 football league does not materialise,” said Goagoseb.
Just like the other premier league teams, Citizen FC suspended its pre-season training since they could not afford to pay for the training field and salaries.
“I will have to wait and see which player is committed and loyal to the team then I will register those who are the backbone of the club. I am confident that we will get good players along the way,” stressed Goagoseb.
However, Civics Football Club head coach, Donelly Nell, said: “I really need to take this opportunity to applaud the NFA on this achievement. I must say it makes every single footballer and every single football loving person happy to hear that there is still hope for football.”
He said his players are equally excited about the Debmarine Namibia Cup and are looking forward to compete in the tournament.
“A lot of the players have been off since the NPL’s failure to get a sponsor. My players are young and most of them have been training on their own, and we plan on starting a training programme in the second week of January,” said the head coach.
“Hopefully we will be ready by the time the cup kicks off and we will build momentum as the cup progresses and take it from there,” stressed Nell.
On the importance of the NFA Cup, the head coach said the Cup brings back good memories of the old NFA Cup of the past.
“This tournament brings all players from different divisions and different parts of the country together, and it also gives local and national coaches an opportunity to scout and identify players.”
On whether players would be fit for the showdown in February, the coach said the fitness level at this stage or in the two months considering the festive season break is of big concern.
“My players are very young and I am confident that we will be ready to show what we are made off come next year,” said Nell.
On the prize money of N$500 000 for the winner of the tournament, Nell said he is extremely happy with it.
When contacted to find out when the registration of players will commence, NPL league administrator, Joshua Tovey Hoebeb, said the office has already closed for the festive season and would only reopen on January 9 next year.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015