Windhoek-Several football teams from the lower tier divisions are going to enter uncharted territory from the weekend of 10th of this month onwards as this year’s Debmarine Namibia Cup gets underway in earnest across the length and breadth of the country.
There will be massive incentives at stake in the lucrative knockout cup competition after principal sponsors, the diamond mining giant Debmarine Namibia and the Namibia Football Association (NFA) recently announced a three-year sponsorship deal worth N$14.1 million.
The new cup competition succeeds the country’s now defunct faded and flagship competition, the NFA Cup and will be known as the Debmarine Namibia Cup.
Action gets underway on the 10th of February with more than 250 footballers out to display their talents on the football pitch in search of glory in the pipe-hot opening tourney ahead of the new football season.
Teams from the Kunene, Zambezi, Oshana, Otjozondjupa, Khomas, Karas, Omaheke and Erongo regions, including each region’s second tier clubs will vie for just one spot each to proceed to the last 32 round.
Two regional champions will be drawn to face each other in the elimination match, which will see one regional winner ousted from the cup competition. The first division will also have clubs battling it out for one spot each from the national first divisions, namely North East, North West and Southern Stream representatives.
In the true spirit of this year’s Debmarine Namibia Cup, winners from the elimination round will each walk away with N$20 000, with the runner-up to receive a consolation prize of N$10 000 each, while the losing semi-finalists will each pocket N$5 000 for their trouble.
Upon completion of the opening round, the 16 teams from the country’s flagship football league, the Namibia Premiership (NPL), will join the remaining 16 teams in the hat for the draw of the last 32, where each participant will receive N$18 000 as preparation fee, with the overall winner guaranteed a cool N$500 000 plus the coveted trophy.
NFA secretary general Barry Rukoro said all logistics are in place for the opening weekend.
“We’re all excited about this venture and pulling all stops to make sure the first weekend of the competition is a huge success. I can assure you that from the organisational point of view, we’re on course and have no doubt that the clubs are gearing up for this tourney with great enthusiasm,” enthused the long serving football administrator.
Meanwhile, the country’s oldest football team, Tigers FC, is one of very few teams that have been going unhindered about their business despite the ongoing wrangles in domestic football that halted the start of league activities.
– Additional info: nfa.org