As has become customary practice, the popular annual Namport Sundowner Knockout Cup Football Tourney attracted a large number of people to the usually sleepy village of Uis in the Kunene region.
After marathon matches in the early stages of the three-day tournament that saw a record 25 teams battling for supremacy, boys were finally separated from men when Karibib Football Club clinched this year’s edition of the prestigious trophy last weekend.
However, the boys from the small mining town were made to work hard for their victory and had to dig deeper by demonstrating nerve and character before edging ahead of hosts Imcor Chiefs FC in the dreaded penalty shoot-out after a 1-all stalemate in regulation time in the semi-final.
Groot Aub outfit, Real United from the Khomas region also had to fend off stiff competition from old timers Speed Fire (Omaruru) in the other semi-final, which also ended in a draw (2-2).
United emerged victorious in penalty shoot-outs, winning by 6 goals to 5, to book a date with Karibib in the final. The final was a spectacular affair as both teams gave it their best although they could not register a single goal in regulation time.
The contest had to be decided via the dreaded penalty shoot-out and it was the boys from Karibib who kept their nerves by converting all their spot-kicks to win the match 5-4. The winners were the proud recipients of a floating trophy, gold medals accompanied by a handsome N$20 000 in prize money.
United received a consolation prize of N$10 000, as the runners-up, complemented by silver medals for their effort while the losing semi-finalists received N$5 000 each.
Namibia’s Ports Authority, NamPort, was once again the proud sole technical and financial sponsor of the successful sporting bonanza for the eighth consecutive year.
Cliff Kubas, the technical trainer, Human Resources Department of NamPort, expressed delight regarding the implementation and outcome of the sporting event, including the potential impact the tournament has on the socio-economic livelihoods of the village’s inhabitants and its surrounding areas.
Informal vendors have been the chief beneficiaries of this annual gathering over the past couple of years engaging in trading activities for the duration of the tournament. Kubas said he was proud that NamPort was associated with an initiative that assists the less privileged in rural areas. He further complemented all the participating teams for their tireless efforts by showing good sportsmanship while displaying fair play on and off the field throughout the tournament. “Well done guys and well done people, this tournament is one of the success stories of social/community investment initiatives that NamPort has embarked on.
“We remain thankful to the organisers and the community of Uis as well as all participating teams that contributed to the overall success of this event. Congratulations to the winners, but truth be told, sports was the real winner.”
The tournament attracted talent scouts from the country’s topflight football teams such as Ivan Namaseb (Orlando Pirates), Wallace Doeseb and Eric Aoseb (both Chief Santos).
Meanwhile, organisers applauded Namclay Bricks and Pavers (N$10 000), Omaruru Wholesalers, Uis Micro to Mega Hardware Stores, N$5 000 for their contributions.
“It is time to heed calls advocated by our President Dr Hage Geingob that we should also embark on imitating the examples of others by sharing in the true spirit of Harambee. We have to start taking care of each other, as fellow compatriots,” said the chairperson of the organizing committee, Conrad Brandt, during the prize giving ceremony.