The much-anticipated return of the country’s flagship knockout competition is back on the football calendar after a period of stagnation due to financial challenges. The news came in on Wednesday when Debmarine Namibia announced its commitment of a N$14.1 million sponsorship of what will be known as the Debmarine Namibia Cup from 2017 to 2019.
The marine diamond company has stepped up to its objective of turning diamond dreams into reality but this time in the interest of thousands of players whose future was blurred after the county’s premier league became dormant due to financial woes.
“At Debmarine, our job is to turn diamond dreams into reality. Thus, supporting sports, and especially football, which is without a doubt the most accessible and popular sport code in Namibia – it is a visible illustration of how we turn diamond dreams into reality,” said the Debmarine Namibia CEO, Otto Shikongo, at the launch.
Following haphazard and mishandling of finances that have brought the NFA house in public scrutiny in the past, Shikongo pleaded with both parties that they are totally uncompromising when it comes to adherence to good governance and financial control.
“Colleagues at the NFA, I am appealing to you and my colleagues at Debmarine Namibia, who will be liaising with you, to execute this agreement in a manner that ensures that the highest standards of discipline and accountability are maintained. I trust this is well understood.”
NFA president in return guaranteed the sponsors that his house will ensure that both parties will enjoy a successful and monumental three years of exciting football.
“In addition, let me also [promise] our sponsors that we will indeed live up to your call for utmost financial transparency and accountability, as we deal with this competition and all our responsibilities,” said Frans Mbidi.
Joyous Mbidi also thanked the sponsors for taking the decision that in the interest of the majority.
“The Debmarine Namibia Cup is the only competition where dreams of the small clubs to make it to the big time are made possible, where the pure crazy, pulsating and incredible moments happen.”
The N$14.1 million sponsorship, which will be divided in chunks of N$4.7 annually, will see the winners of the competition walk away with N$500 000 as overall prize.
The competition is expected to kick off on the second weekend of February 2017. In the same month, the Namibia Premier League is also expected to kick off, however, details of the league administrators securing and additional sponsor have not yet emerged.