12 October 2017

Namibia: Geingob Cup Stays Put - Tjongarero

Deputy sports minister Agnes Tjongarero on Wednesday instructed the Brave Warriors to keep Zimbabwe from claiming the Dr Hage Geingob Cup next month.

Instead of the traditional four-team club tournament, the two national sides will contest a friendly international for the reworked fourth edition of the annual pre-season competition at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek on 11 November.

The change in format was necessitated by the absence of domestic top-flight action, where the league has been dormant for over 16 months.

African champions Mamelodi Sundowns have won the last three editions, prompting Tjongarero to command Brave Warriors head coach Ricardo Mannetti to change the status quo.

"This cup must stay here in Namibia with us. You [Mannetti] will make sure of that. Tell the national team [players] I said it must stay here," Tjongarero stressed.

"Which means that if you have not been serious about this whole thing, now you must be. We cannot every time allow that the Dr Hage Geingob Cup is won by somebody else. This time it's ours. Do you promise?"

And Mannetti cheerfully replied: "I promise!"

Tjongarero also implored the organisers and media to vigorously market the event to entice more investors and fans alike.

Main sponsors Namibia Breweries, through their Tafel Lager brand, contributed N$2,5 million, with MTC's contribution tallying N$1,5 million in cash and kind. Air Namibia will offer reduced fares to fly in Zimbabwe's Warriors, plus match officials from Botswana and South Africa.

Additionally, Huawei will give away mobile appliances worth N$100 000 to fans at the match.

"The sponsors have done their part. They have come on board and sponsored us. Thank you for that. We appreciate it," she said.

"Now, the sports people, especially the football fraternity, please let us make sure as from today onwards that we advertise this event to the nation until the day it is played. We want to fill up that stadium. Let's make it the thing of the year for the football fraternity," Tjongarero continued.

"We need all our people to come from wherever they are. They cannot come if we do not tell them about this event.

"Let us do our part, so that come next time, others will want to be part of it, and we will have more and more sponsors," she added.

Namibia Football Association boss Frans Mbidi said the match will greatly aid the Brave Warriors' preparations for the upcoming African Nations Championships (Chan) finals.

"It gives us a chance to test our resolve against the likes of Zimbabwe. Many think it was just a fluke when we eliminated them from the Chan qualifiers. We have the ability to prove them wrong," said Mbidi.

"We are very glad to know that our preparations for the 2018 Chan finals will be boosted by this game, which the national team really needs.

"Due to the inactivity of the domestic league and because of engagements that our prospective invited teams are involved in at the moment, the organisers took it a step further and made it about the Brave Warriors," he said.

Tickets are available at N$20 each from Web-tickets Namibia at Pick n Pay outlets countrywide, while limited tickets will be sold at the stadium for N$40.

The first 1 000 fans will receive promotional material, while several of the country's top musicians will entertain the crowd before, during and after the match.


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