Namibian football has given birth to countless hotly contested derbies in years gone by, and this weekend’s action in the lucrative MTC Premiership bears testimony to that with no less than three mouth-watering derbies on the menu.
While the debate remains unresolved with regard to the bitter rivalry between Orlando Pirates and Black Africa, the mother of all derbies is arguably between archrivals Tigers and African Stars – dating back to the old location when football was genuinely regarded as a religion among the god-fearing black community.
Although the country’s oldest football entity Tigers has been living in the shadow of their celebrated rivals, Ingwe has awakened from its slumber and looks destined to reclaim its former glory days.
Never before since the dawn of Namibia’s independence has a football match between the Reds and Ingwe attracted so much interest than when these two giants trot onto the Sam Nujoma stadium on Sunday to square off in what has been labelled a potential title decider by football pundits.
With a significant chunk of 21 points still up for grabs, the MTC Premiership runaway leaders could all but wrap up the elusive league title with a victory over their rivals.
In contrast, pride and bragging rights are at stake and with Stars appearing to have finally rediscovered the kind of form that saw them tumble Black Africa from the pedestal last term, an intriguing encounter could be in the offing.
The Reds are lying 16 points off the pace of their opponents but victory would move them within four points of the available runner-up spot – provided incumbent 2nd spot squatters Black Africa lose their match against relegation-threatened Flamingoes.
Down at sea level, LHU Blue Waters entertain bitter rivals Eleven Arrows in a coastal derby at the Kuisebmond stadium, Walvis Bay, tomorrow. In another derby, Julinho Sporting have a date with cross-town rivals United Stars in a relegation dogfight at the Rundu stadium.
Elsewhere, FNB Orlando Pirates host Civics in the second of a double header featuring Black Africa and Flamingoes in the curtain raiser at the Sam Nujoma stadium. Mighty Gunners are at home to Citizens to complete tomorrow’s line up.
Sunday sees Tura Magic up against Unam in a mid-table clash at the Sam Nujoma stadium, while Rundu Chiefs welcome Young Chiefs.