Representing hundreds of young jobless footballers that are roaming the streets without much hope for the future, the second vice-president of the Namibia Football Players’ Union (NAFPU), Stigga Ketjijere, yesterday again appealed to the corporate world to come to the players’ rescue.
Last month MTC qualified its commitment to sponsor the NPL with the earlier promised N$45 million over three years, saying the NPL needs to first secure an additional sponsor to come on board with N$9 million to cover the league’s envisaged N$24 million budget.
Upon completion of MTC and the NPL’s initial three-year sponsorship agreement in May, the league had approached MTC with a much-improved budget amounting to some N$24 million, a 62% increase from their previous annual budget of N$14 563 234.
MTC responded positively by promising to sponsor an annual amount of N$15 million – N$45 million over three years – on condition that the NPL finds another sponsor to cover the deficit in the new budget, amounting to about N$9 million (N$27 million over three years).
But the NPL failed to secure an additional sponsor, which resulted in MTC effectively withdrawing their sponsorship of the premier league.
Speaking at yesterday’s press conference in the capital, Ketjijere, who is also the captain of the Brave Warriors, joined the rest of the players in appealing to the country’s business community to come on board and financially assist the Namibia Premier League (NPL), as many players’ livelihood depends solely on football.
“On behalf of hundreds of footballers plying their trade in the NPL I would again like to plead with the country’s corporates to please come on board and assist us, because without the league more than 500 of the country’s youth will be on the streets. Hence my plea,” Ketjijere said.
“Football maintains the livelihood of hundreds of families, including those of our kids. For the past few months, we’ve been training with the hope that the league would maybe start, but there’s no indication at the moment from the side of the league authorities, but we cannot also just sit idly. That’s why I’m calling on everyone to please assist us.”
Speaking at the same event NAFPU secretary general Olsen Kahiriri concurred with Ketjijere, saying the union is more than ready to help the NPL and NFA solicit the necessary funds for the premier league, but cooperation would be needed from all three parties.
“For the sake of our footballers’ livelihood and future, NAFPU has indicated before that we are ready to join hands with our brothers and sisters at the NPL and NFA, so that we can solve this issue.
“The players are seriously suffering and any Namibian with a conscious mind must equally be worried with what is happening right now,” Kahiriri noted.