11 October 2018

Namibia/Ghana: Brave Warriors Get Ghana Date

GHANA'S Black Stars will give the Brave Warriors a thorough workout during this year's Dr Hage Geingob Cup, the organisers say.

The friendly international takes place at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek on 24 November.

Given that it does not fall on a Fifa internationals date, the West Africans, renowned for their footballing exploits, are expected to field a largely home-based side "with at least four regulars based in Europe" in their midst.

Even without established stars like their all-time top scorer Asamoah Gyan of Turkish club Kayserispor, Thomas Partey of Spanish side Atletico Madrid and Kwadwo Asamoah of Inter Milan in Italy, Ghana are expected to offer more than Zimbabwe did when they lost 3-1 to Namibia last year.

"It has become very clear in our ongoing discussions with the NFA that the national team needs as many friendlies and game time against the best opposition possible in order to be competitive in African competition, going forward. And we are indeed grateful to the Ghana Football Association for agreeing to this fixture," said Ian Stevenson, Namibia Breweries Ltd sponsorship and events and specialty brands manager.

"We expect a packed stadium in just over a month from now when our own Brave Warriors go up against Ghana's Black Stars.

"I'm glad to see that the NFA is putting up a challenge to one of the giants of African football, and not just taking on easy opposition like Bafana Bafana, for example," he added wittily.

Ghana's high commissioner to Namibia Elizabeth Salamatu Forgor naturally believes her team will prove too strong for their hosts on the day.

However, and whatever the result, the match in itself represents more than just football, she noted.

"We will win this trophy," she declared joyfully, before adding that the benefits of this sporting event should not be understated.

"This sport excites both players and spectators. It allows countries to build a certain cohesion and gather communities in a friendly, caring and cheerful spirit," Forgor said.

"It also serves as a source of creating jobs for communities, and it's a great source of revenue generation. It is worth mentioning that football contributes to national development in that the funding provided by the sponsors brings about social changes to our communities and towns," she continued.

"I, therefore, call on the youth of Namibia to support this game and make it a national sport, a sport that we can all be proud of. We want to see stadia full of football fans each weekend, and international football stars to emerge from the president's initiative," said Forgor.

Geingob is a keen sports enthusiast, and as such is also keen to see the youth embrace the event organised with them in mind, said presidential advisor Daisry Mathias.

"He attaches great value to the role of sports in national development. Beyond the entertainment aspect of sports, it is viewed as a tool for social cognition, nation-building, personal social development and the transformation of our country, especially the young people," Mathias said.

The organisers are going to great lengths to ensure another sell-out festive occasion like last year, with an assortment of prizes and entertainment for fans on the programme.

The Cup is chiefly sponsored by Namibia Breweries Ltd through their long-time Brave Warriors-associated Tafel Lager brand and MTC. Auxiliary support comes from the NWR, Air Namibia and Huawei.

The first 5000 people through the gates are promised complimentary promotional merchandise, while leading Namibian musicians Tate Buti, Exit, Tequila, Female Donkey, The Dogg and Gazza will provide further entertainment throughout the day.

Tickets will go on sale at Computicket and NFA's Football House for N$40, following the Brave Warriors' home Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixture against Mozambique.

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