Windhoek-The fourth edition of the Dr Hage Geingob Cup was officially launched in the capital yesterday, with Namibia Breweries Limited, through its Tafel Lager brand, MTC and Huawei Technologies Namibia jointly sponsoring the event to the tune of N$4.1 million.
The cup, which honours President Hage Geingob for his immense contribution towards the development of sport – particularly football – throughout the years and pays tribute to the Namibian Head of State for dedicating his efforts and lifetime towards empowering the Namibian youth through sport, will be played on 11 November.
Unlike in the past where the tournament featured mainly local and visiting premier league clubs, this year the organisers adopted a new format, which will see Namibia’s senior football side, the Brave Warriors, taking on the Warriors of Zimbabwe in the only match of competition.
The new format is partly a response to the Namibian premiership football situation, which has forced local football clubs into dormancy due to inactivity of the Namibia Premier League for over a year now.
As a result, the organisers extended an invitation to the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) for the Warriors to engage their Namibian counterparts on 11 November in this year’s Dr Hage Geingob Cup. The match will also fall on the FIFA calendar, as an international friendly whose outcome will have a bearing on the FIFA rankings.
Main sponsor, Tafel Lager, availed N$2.5 million for this year’s event while MTC came on board with N$1.5 million and Huawei Technologies Namibia sponsored N$100 000 to bring the sponsorship to N$4.1 million.
Speaking at yesterday’s launch, Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport and National Service, Agnes Tjongarero, called on coach Ricardo Mannetti and his charges to work extra hard to ensure they defeat the visiting Warriors and hopefully keep the trophy at home.
“We cannot allow the trophy to leave the country for three straight years that’s why I would like to urge you and your players to work hard and make sure the trophy remains home and we must show the world we can win as well,” Tjongarero said to Mannetti, who confidently nodded his head in agreement.
Daisry Mathias, President Geingob’s Adviser on Youth Matters and Enterprise Development, represented the Head of State and officially launched the 2017 Dr Hage Geingob Cup.
Namibia Football Association President, Frans Mbidi, said: “The 2017 Dr Hage Geingob Cup have added significance in the sense that it will be used to accord the Brave Warriors an opportunity to strut their stuff and thoroughly prepare for the African Nations Championship finals, which are set for early next year. The match will also see our Brave Warriors face the Warriors of Zimbabwe in a Category-A FIFA friendly game.”
Apart from Tafel Lager, MTC and Huawei, Air Namibia offered discounted fares to the visiting Zimbabwean team.
Meanwhile, tickets to the match will cost N$20 each at Web-tickets Namibia at all Pick n Pay stores countrywide, while limited tickets would also be sold at the gates for N$40. The first 1 000 people will receive a promotional hat or T-shirt and top local musicians will entertain the crowd before the match, as well as during half time and after the match.
Mamelodi Sundowns from South Africa have won the first three editions of the Dr Hage Geingob Cup and have kept the trophy.
A detailed programme for November 11 will be announced in two weeks’ time when the organisers will also unveil a new trophy.