African Stars and Unam must ensure the Sam Nujoma Stadium is filled to capacity for Saturday's Debmarine Namibia Cup final to justify the sponsors' investment, the competition's organising committee chair, Roger Kambatuku, said yesterday.
The match, to determine who pockets the N$500 000 winners cheque and bragging rights, kicks off at 16h00, and will be preceded by an exhibition game involving the China-bound national men's under-23 team against the Tertiary Institutes Sports Association of Namibia (Tisan) side at 13h00.
"The NFA and sponsors have done what they can. What is left is for the two teams to help us get the stadium filled up," said Kambatuku.
While Starlile are known to attract big crowds to their matches, Kambatuku urged both sides to go out of their way and market the showdown by reaching out to the public.
"These are two teams with potential to pull large crowds. Our partners want to see a return on investment, and a full stadium is a guarantee that their continued support is merited," he said.
In an age when investment in sport is at a premium, the senior Namibia Football Association official said the FA Cup title sponsors should be commended for sticking around during arguably the most tumultuous period of the game in the country.
"Thank you for persevering with us. Last season was not easy due to the league not being active when this competition started, and also because the big names were absent. But this year, the big names are on board, and things have moved smoothly," Kambatuku added.
Saturday's final pits double-hunting top flight champions African Stars against a hungry and youthful Unam ensemble who posted a best-ever fourth-place finish in the Namibia Premier League. Both coaches promised that their teams will be primed for action and deliver a memorable cup tie.
As part of the build-up to the keenly anticipated contest, Debmarine Namibia yesterday handed over playing gear to both clubs to ensure they turn up in style for the occasion.
Gates open at noon on Saturday for the fans, who can purchase tickets for N$30 through Computicket at Shoprite/Checkers outlets countrywide, NFA Football House, and at the stadium on match day.
The public can expect a fun-filled day at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, with the first 100 supporters guaranteed "a special gift from Sparky", the Debmarine Namibia Cup mascot.
Also, top Namas winners Sally Boss Madam and Kalux are expected to keep the crowd entertained with their hits.