WINDHOEK – Namibia’s giant football club African Stars will tomorrow embark on their African safari with a crucial clash against visiting Ugandan champions Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) FC, which will see both teams squaring off for their CAF Champions League 1st leg preliminary round match at the Sam Nujoma Stadium at 15h00.
As far as continental football maturity is concerned, history in this particular case favours KCCA who boast a long history in CAF competitions as they have been regular participants in various competitions such as the African Cup of Champions Clubs, African Cup Winners’ Cup, CAF Cup, CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup since the late 70’s – and that brief history is enough to remain Stars what they are faced with come Saturday.
Not only have KCCA been regular participants in continental competitions, but they have over the years been a serious force in Ugandan football and are currently the reigning champions of the Ugandan Premier League.
Meanwhile on the other hand, Stars are yet to find their hold on continental competitions with their first CAF Cup appearance only coming in 1992 when they bowed out in the opening round, before returning in recent years competing in both the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup but have however struggled to move past the opening rounds.
But domestically, Stars is hailed as one of Namibia’s king of cups having won the Namibia Premier League (NPL) on no less than four occasions and the FA Cup on more than five occasions.
Stars, arguably Namibia’s most best supported football club, are the reigning champions of the Debmarine Namibia Cup and also the Standard Bank Top-8 Cup.
But come tomorrow at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, the history of both clubs will be temporarily downgraded to mere numbers as it will be a pair of 11-players apiece and a round piece of
leather that will determine who takes advantage of the 1st leg.
Stars will be expected to make full use of home ground advantage and the ever-present force of their thousands of fans, who will be expected to pack the stadium to rafters as usual.
Stars supporters in their hundreds will welcome the Kasasiro Boys, as KCCA are known, to their scared “holy fire” as they have christened the Sam Nujoma Stadium, where they will be speaking in tongues in their hundreds seeking divine intervention from their football gods.
But it will not be an easy spiritual task for the gods of Stars, as KCCA’s coach Mike Mutebi was recently quoted sounding his war drums, saying: “Our target is to reach the group stage of the Caf Champions League. If you reach the group stage it means you will play 12 big games that will help the players to grow in confidence. The more matches the players play, the more they grow in confidence. We need to get a good result away before our home game later this month and the only way for us to achieve this is not to underrate our opponents.”