Windhoek – Although the Namibia Premier League (NPL) receives an annual grant of N$16 million from MTC, Tim Ekandjo, MTC’s chief human capital and corporate affairs officer is still not yet convinced that the NPL leadership has done enough to professionalise the league despite limited funds.
Speaking at the MTC/NPL Awards ceremony in Windhoek at the weekend, Ekandjo announced that the Namibian football premiership is currently the 5th best sponsored league in Africa with a yearly investment of N$16 million, which sees the league winners take home N$1 million.
“Johnny Doeseb, the NPL chairman, you have now effectively been at the helm of the league for the past seven years. We would like to thank you for your contribution and that of your entire leadership team for the strides local football has made. Our next collective vision must be to attach a professional status to the game as we cannot continue maintaining the current status quo with this amount of investment, which is indeed significant,” said Ekandjo
“We are well aware that the league needs in excess of N$20 million per annum to reach its full potential, but we also understand that MTC alone cannot carry this joy, not burden. The NPL leadership therefore desperately needs to seek more sponsors to join MTC. But I’m with the Brave Warriors’ recent accomplishment – the future of Namibian football is bright and promising and as a sponsor we can see the promised land, although we might not reach that promised land with you.”
In conclusion, Ekandjo said: “We must thank and recognize those who paved the way to our recent Cosafa Cup victory. The likes of former president Muinjo and his administration, companies like The Namibian for the annual Namibian Newspaper Cup, corporates like Bidvest Namibia for the Bidvest Cup, Standard Bank for the Standard Bank Super Cup, Metropolitan for the Metropolitan Summer Cup and Skorpion for the Skorpion Zinc Cup – these are all tournaments that concentrate on grassroots development of the game and we must therefore salute and encourage them to re-double their efforts because development is key to further success.”
In his short speech, NPL chairman Johnny ‘JJD’ Doeseb recognised MTC’s unwavering support towards the development of Namibian football and urged more sponsors to come on board and assist the NPL in taking Namibian football to greater heights – and hopefully achieve professional status.
“Going into the new season, we want to ensure all clubs plying their trade in the NPL put special emphasis on young structures within their respective clubs. Clubs must move out of their comfort zones and start going the extra mile to secure sponsors. We speak of youth empowerment, but yet we fail to recognise the potential that football, and sport in general, has to develop and empower the youth,” said Doeseb.
by Otniel Hembapu