New Era Newspaper

New Era Epaper
Icon Collap
Home / Football to finally kick off…many hurdles still to clear

Football to finally kick off…many hurdles still to clear

2022-10-28  Maurice Kambukwe

Football to finally kick off…many hurdles still to clear

Debmarine Namibia yesterday came to the rescue of Namibian football when they announced a sponsorship worth N$13 million to restart football in the Namibia Premier Football League, forthwith to be known as the Debmarine Namibia Premiership. 

Namibia Football Association (NFA) Normalisation Committee (NC) chairperson Bisey Uirab paid homage to Debmarine Namibia, saying the sponsorship is a true testimony to the diamond mining company’s unwavering commitment to invest in social upliftment projects for the benefit of the nation.

“We are excited and thrilled that despite the brand damage and harm inflicted on the image of the NFA, Debmarine Namibia still believes in the product of football and thousands of young boys and girls who suffered most at the long impasse of the past years,” he said.

Uirab noted that going forward, it is the deliberate intention of the NFA to transform the NPFL to become a self-managed and professional league in the mid-long term. 

“In fact, the process has begun in all earnest with the support of the Fifa Professionalisation Department and others. The first workshop was held during the month of September and was facilitated by Uefa and attended by all top-tier league clubs.”

On his part, Debmarine chief executive officer Otto Shikongo said through the sponsorship agreement with the NFA, one of their fundamental conditions is that respect for the game be upheld. 

“It is sad and disappointing that the premier league did not play competitive football in over three years. Given the turbulent past season and internal issues that we saw playing out in the media and public domain, it is not without reservations that we stand here today. Therefore, it is our sincere hope that the association will become united during the trial sponsorship and well beyond,” he said.

At the same event, sports ministry executive director Erastus Mbumba said the sponsorship is extremely good news to many, especially the young boys and girls in sport, and the SMEs who participate in the value chain of selling products and services to football players, supporters, management and so on. 

“I would like to appeal to the NFA leadership to further engage other corporate entities to ensure that the lower leagues, including the nationwide first divisions, regional second divisions and women’s football secure similar sponsorship to further develop and enrich football at the grassroots level. These leagues, in my opinion, are also important leagues; they polish the raw talent players who will be ready to be absorbed by the premier league. It is also from this grassroots development that the premier league players are seen by foreign scout agents and exported to play professional football at bigger clubs and leagues internationally.”



Information on the amount of monthly grants to teams, availability of fields and which teams exactly will play in the top flight will be announced at a later stage, but the final fixtures will be released on Monday, according to NFA acting secretary general Jochen Traut.

“The fixtures which circulated a week ago are not final and are not the legitimate ones. We have not fully secured the football fields that will be used for the premier league, but we are working on addressing the issue ahead of the kick-off date,” he added.

On the readiness of his team to see football resume next week, he said: “I am aware of various teams who have not yet registered or started training; it’s a matter of concern and we are working hard to address that problem.” 


Pundits weigh in

Local football pundits have welcomed the return of premiership football after an almost three years hiatus, saying that it is a step in the right direction.

Reacting to the return of the league, Brave Warriors assistant coach Ronnie Kanalelo expressed excitement, saying it has been a tough three years without football.

The former Mamelodi Sundowns shot-stopper added that it’s important for football to return as it will massively help the national side. 

“Finally, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This gives me hope that Namibia can be great again. I am happy because so many players will get game-time and improve. It will, as well, help in getting them deals across the borders,” he said.

“On the Warriors’ side, the league is of great importance because the national team will be filled with talent that will be playing week in, week out, which is good as we prepare for Afcon qualifiers next year,” he said.

Football commentator Isack Hamata too was excited about the return of football, saying “it’s what we have all been waiting for.”

“However, this is also a lesson to the football nation that it’s easy to destroy something but difficult to rebuild. I hope we find a will to rebuild to where we want our football to be,” he noted.


2022-10-28  Maurice Kambukwe

Share on social media