Windhoek- The MTC Namibia premier league 2018/2019 campaign has been launched this week. The Mobile Telecommunications Namibia has invested N$ 133 million in the Namibia Premier League for 18 years, says MTC Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs, Tim Ekandjo during the new league campaign launch. He also informed attendees that MTC and NPL should think of the 20th Anniversary preparation in advance. Ekandjo added that MTC spends N$ 15.4 per annum on the premier league.
The MTC Premier league kicks-off today with a mouth-watering clash between Tura Magic against Orlando Pirates in the capital at Sam Nujoma stadium at 20h00.
Ekandjo, who represented the sponsors of the league, said that the NPL and Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) are in serious negotiations in order to televise the second leg of the season live on NBC as they want to move towards a vision of professionalism. “It’s now the right time to ensure a move towards the vision of professionalism. We are also mindful that we will never be able to extract the true value of the league if you don’t televise our games,” he said.
He further added that television creates and unlocks advertising opportunities and generates revenues, adding that televising games will not keep supporters away from the stadiums. Ekandjo said that televising the league games will give the supporters an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful game in the comfort of their homes. He also encourages the newcomers in the MTC Premiership to fighting for their league status and stay in the top flight for as much as they want.
Ekandjo expressed disappointment in the infighting in Namibian football. He also congratulated the newly promoted teams namely Young Brazilians, Julinho Sporting Football Club and Okahandja United which he “hopes that the name is officially legitimate”. In his remarks, he stated that the sponsors will hold the league accountable for the wrongdoings and misusing of the sponsors’ funds.
He further revealed that he made an observation and expressed his delightedness stating that he is happy to know for the first time the league has a football club which is named after a town, saying that this will give the inhabitants of Okahandja town no room to support any other club. “For the first time, we have a team that named after the town. Everyone from Okahandja is now forced to support this team. In the past, we had team such as Karaburg United, Luderitz United and other teams which are named after their respective towns”, Ekandjo said.
At the launch, Namibia Premier League (NPL) Vice Chairperson, Kandas Paulino indicated that the new campaign will allow clubs to vote for wherever they want to play their home matches in Namibia, saying that this will give the premier league an opportunity to take the games to the people, giving an example, Paulino said that “Black Africa can for example vote to play some of their league matches in Omaruru”.
He added that the premier league will kick off today and it is expected to finish at the end of May 2019. The Vice Chairperson stated that the league is expected to be competitive due to the fact that clubs will only play a single game per weekend, adding that single headers per weekend will keep the players mentally and physically fit.
On the issues of Young African’s suspension and Okahandja community ownership of Okahandja United, the NPL Chairperson, Patrick Kauta, refused to comment to these matters, saying that such issues will be dealt with organically.