… As sponsors shun region and players travel up to 300km to trials
By John Tuerijama
KUNENE will this weekend host its regional trials, ahead of the upcoming Under-17 Skorpion Zinc Cup, slated for 7 to 10 September, amid serious financial difficulties and little hope of local businesses assisting.
Some of the players will have to travel between 250km and 300km to the trials, which will be held in Kamanjab.
The Kunene region, which is yet to win the competition, is pitted against defending champions Omusati in Group A, who won the 2014 and 2015 editions of the cup, as well as the Otjozondjupa and Omaheke regions. Speaking to Confidente about the preparations of the region’s U-17 football team, Kunene Football League Chairman, Petrus Tjiveze, said this weekend’s trials for the Skorpion Zinc Cup will take place, despite financial constraints and burdens.
Tjiveze said that the trials will take place in Kamanjab, which is a central meeting ground for region’s aspiring youngsters, who would want to represent Kunene, during the Skorpion Zinc Cup that will take place in the Khomas region this year.
Tjiveze said that towns in the Kunene region are situated far from each other, and that the young football players will have to travel to Kamanjab from afar afield as Opuwo, Sesfontein, Outjo, Okaukuejo and Khorixas.
“We have businesses in the Kunene region, which have little or no interest in supporting the regional football teams. The distance between these towns is very far and some of these young people will be forced to travel between 250km and 300km to the final destination, where the regional trials will take place,” said Tjiveze.
He said the business community has not been forthcoming and are doing nothing for the development of football in the region, 27 years after the country gained its independence.
“All we are trying as an executive is to make some financial contributions, to ensure the success of our campaign, and once the preliminary selections are made, we will trim down the number to 22 players,” Tjiveze said.
The chairperson said that even when the region took part in the Newspaper Cup, they were assisted by the ministry of sport and the Swakopmund Municipality, who provided them with playing gear.
Although the region has not lifted any silverware so far, Tjiveze is confident that the Kunene is endowed with the necessary talent to upset any opponent, and that all they need is a financial injection, in order to make progress in the competition.
“Our objective is to seriously contest this competition, with vigour and determination, and have confidence in the two coaches, Siegfried Mate and Willem Mpansi, who have both been instrumental in the development of our football,” said Tjiveze.
The Skorpion Zinc has injected a cool N$1.4 million into the tournament.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015