Various local football administrators have strongly questioned the legitimacy and transparency of the voting process or system applied in determining the fourth participating team in the annual Dr Hage Geingob Cup.
Some speaking openly and others anonymously to New Era Sport yesterday, one furious team manager accused the tournament’s organisers of favouritism, adding that the whole SMS voting competition or process lacked transparency and authenticity in all areas.
“The votes that we apparently got and the amount of money provided to the media and the public at large are not true at all. We invested more than the figures they provided at that conference and I’m only referring to the money the club used to purchase airtime, meaning if I add the public votes I would have even more. They must stop lying and wasting people’s time and resources – if they wanted African Stars to be the fourth team, then they should have just made it clear from the outset rather than waste our time,” fumed the team manager.
Local football fans were required to vote for their respective clubs to be the fourth team to partake in the Dr Hage Geingob Cup through a SMS competition, SMSing the name of their chosen club to the number 5003. Fifteen Namibia premier league clubs participated in the voting competition.
Chairman of one of the Namibia Premiership top-four clubs also joined the dissatisfied chorale, warning that the organisers will kill the authenticity of the prestigious competition which honours President Hage Geingob’s tireless contribution to the upliftment and development of local sport, particularly football.
“The entire results did not make sense and when they were announced we immediately knew something was fishy. But I have been in Namibian football for many years now and I partly saw this coming. We knew it will be African Stars because there will always be the usual excuse of apparently Stars have the largest crowd in the country, thus they always get preferential treatment when it comes to everything in Namibian football. The whole process is just a pure joke,” he dismally adds.
African Stars secured their participation in the Dr Hage Geingob Cup competition scheduled for August 6 and 7, after getting the most votes during the SMS competition, which determined the fourth team.
Stars received 25 928 votes, only 54 votes more than Unam FC who came in second place and will now face MTC Premier League winners Tigers on August 6. The winner will play the winner between Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns, who are the reigning champions of the Dr Hage Geingob Cup.
Tigers secured their participation in the Cup by virtue of being the MTC Premiership league winners. A total of 87 147 SMS votes was received from May 18 to July 25, 2016.
Tickets for the much-anticipated Dr Hage Geingob Cup are already on sale at all Computicket outlets and at Soccer House for N$20 each.
Herewith the full SMS vote statistics as provided by NFA
TEAM VOTES Number of SMS’s Total Spent N$
Black Africa FC 13 704 N$41,112
Tura Magic FC 32 N$96
African Stars FC 25,928 N$77,784
Mighty Gunners FC 236 N$708
LHU Blue Waters FC 933 N$2799
Civics FC 45 N$135
FNB Orlando Pirates FC 294 N$882
Eleven Arrows FC 22 N$66
UNAM FC 25 874 N$77,622
Rundu Chiefs FC 14 040 N$42,120
Young Chiefs FC 381 N$1143
Citizens FC 2 N$6
Life Fighters FC 4737 N$14,211
Young African FC 265 N$795
Chief Santos FC 654 N$1962