Sunday 16 May 2021
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Is the Dr. Hage Geingob Cup a waste of money?

In these wobbling economic state of affairs, over N$3 million was spend on the organizing of the just ended one-day Dr. Hage Geingob Cup. This is against the background of numerous sport codes on the brink  of closure with not enough being done at a grass roots level.
Football experts and sport analysts like expressed mixed feelings on the cup with most feeling the amount spend on just a one day event is an indirect slap to sports development in the country and should rather be spent to develop other areas.
Just last week, this publication reported that the Brave Warrior players that are yet to receive their bonuses. On top of this fracas, the first division is yet to kick off but this seems to be unlikely seeing that there are no funds to see this through.
Due to the persistent ‘financial difficulties,’ Namibia’s under-17 football team, the Baby Warriors, had to withdraw their participation from this year’s edition of the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Under-17 Cup where they were the reigning champions after defeating South Africa last year.
The struggles that the Namibia Premier League endured for almost two years without football due to ‘lack of funds’ is another evident factor in terms of the misaligned priorities in sport. At a time when the league management knocked from door to door looking for money to kick of the flagship league, many corporates shut their doors. The Namibia Sport Commission has in the past years made strides in making sure the country was represented at international sporting events. However, due to budget cuts and lack of sponsorship, the commission had to tighten their belts which significantly affected the sports codes.
The Netball team had to travel to Uganda this year without a team medic due to a lack of funds. In addition to this, the Paralympic team that has stunned the world with their outstanding performance literally remain in the dark as they are not sure when their next international participation will take place.
Speaking to a sport fan over the weekend at the Dr Hage Geingob Cup, Panduleni Hailonga expressed that the country has a bigger problem and it is not the lack of resources but those with the money. “We have the resources but the problem is with those in control of these resources. I will put it on record that the Dr. Hage Geingob Cup is a waste of money and those who are at the forefront should be ashamed of it. All year long we have been preaching that there are no funds. We have the first division that has not yet started due to funds and women football is dead because there are no funds. And all of a sudden we have money, over N$3 million for that matter to spend on a one day event. We are a sick nation, I tell you that,” said Hailonga.
Hailonga shares the sentiments that the country never had an issue of lack of resources but rather that of intentionally short-sighted priorities. He says the country preaches one message and does exactly the opposite.
Sports personalities contacted share the same sentiments but refused to speak on record due to fear of victimization.
During the previous the two years of the Dr. Hage Geingob Cup which was won consecutively by South African club Sundowns, a bigger chunk has always left the country. This year, the over N$3 million was used to pay for hosting fees for the Zimbabwean team. This included transport, accommodation, booking a field for the opponents to train, food, pay the players, a gym if need be and for all services.
“Why don’t we rather put some money for the first division to kick off? It would also just be best if they channeled that money in a youth academy. But they will not do this because they want to benefit and fill their pockets in one day,” added Hailonga.
Critics have reminded the administration consistantly in regards the short-sightedness of the leadership team lamenting the lack of focus as far as development is concerned in sport.
“No corporate company will give their money where they know that it will not be in good hands. There is money in the country, but corporate Namibia will not throw their money where they know it will be used to enrich a few individuals. And before we even go to the money, a corporate will only give their money where they can get mileage under the banner of ‘social responsibility.’ But I should say this attitude will never lift sport to greater heights” said a PR practitioner privy to the corporate Namibia circles.
The debate on whether the Dr Hage Geingob Cup continues unabated. However, it brings to light that there exists sources of funds in the country, but just not to develop where it needs to bes

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