KATUTURA giants African Stars and Life Fighters of Otjiwarongo will meet in the stand-out match of the Debmarine Namibia Cup Round of 32 after the draw was made in Windhoek on Thursday.
Life Fighters, who were promoted to the Namibia Premier League last year, have a rich history and traditional ties with Stars, and a big turnout can be expected when they meet towards the end of April.
The Round of 32 matches will be played over two weekends at different venues, with the fixtures still to be finalised.
The first matches take place in Windhoek and Tsumeb on 22 and 23 April, while the second round of matches take place in Walvis Bay and Mariental on 29 and 30 April.
The regional winners of the Debmarine Namibia Cup joined the 16 Namibia Premier League teams in the draw of the lucrative competition which will see the winners walking away with a total of N$590 000.
There are only three matches involving all-Premier League clubs, with the other two being Mighty Gunners versus Citizens, and Blue Waters versus Rundu Chiefs.
In some of the other interesting match-ups, Namibia's Cup kings Black Africa will face the Hardap champions Bee Bob Brothers; Orlando Pirates will face Erongo champions, Gendev FC; and the defending Premier League champions Tigers will face Omaheke regional winners, Eastern Chiefs.
At Thursday's launch, the senior financial manager of Debmarine Namibia, Willy Mertens gave the breakdown of their sponsorship for the tournament, which amounts to N$4,7 million per year or N$14,1 million for a three year-period.
The winning team will receive N$500 000, as well as N$90 000 in assistance funds on the way to the final, for a total of N$590 000.
The runners-up will receive N$300 000 and assistance funds of N$90 000 for a total of N$390 000, while the losing semifinalists will each receive N$150 000 and N$72 000 in assistance funds for a total of N$222 000.
There will also be individual awards for the player of the tournament, the top goalscorer, the goalkeeper of the tournament, and the referee and assistant referee of the tournament amounting to N$85 000.
All the teams in the Round of 32 will receive N$18 000 each as preparation funds and to assist with traveling and logistics, while the teams advancing to the Round of 16, the quarterfinals and the semifinals will also receive N$18 000 for each stage. The two finalists will each receive N$28 000 to prepare for the final.
Besides that, the various regions and zonal streams associations received a total of N$570 000 in assistance, as well as N$680 000 in prize monies.
Mehrtens said Debmarine Namibia was delighted to sponsor the competition and that they could assist the government in achieving their development goals.
“One of the key principles of our government is 'partnerships', which is recognized as a major prerequisite for the achievement of dynamic, efficient and sustainable development. This involves, for example, partnerships between government, communities and the private sector and today we celebrate such a partnership,” he said, adding, that the government could consider a tax write-off for these kinds of sponsorships to encourage the private sector.
The Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Jerry Ekandjo commended Debmarine Namibia for their sponsorship, saying that sport was a catalyst for social cohesion.
“This is very important at this time and hour, particularly because we as a nation are going through some divisional challenges, and competition of this nature can only help us find unity amongst ourselves,” he said.
Ekandjo also expressed the hope that Namibia's football leagues would soon be in full swing, with the support from other corporates and stakeholders in Namibia.
The complete Draw of 32 is as follows:
Rhino v Young Beauties, Khuse v Touch & Go, Orlando Pirates v Gendev, Life Fighters v African Stars, Young African v Otjiwarongo, Mighty Gunners v Citizens, Try Again v Chief Santos, Young Chiefs v Kantema Bullets, Black Africa v Bee Bob Brothers, Ogongo United v Eleven Arrows, Unam v Eleven Champions, Tigers v Eastern Chiefs, King Fischer v Tura Magic, Blue Waters v Rundu Chiefs, Civics v Ohangwena Nampol, and Outjo v United Stars.
- Title: Stars take on Life Fighters in Debmarine Cup
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- Date: 3:52 PM