Namibia Newspaper Cup Hailed

This year’s Namibian Newspaper Cup competition held at the historic Oscar Norich Stadium in Tsumeb has been acknowledged as a reverberating success by both the organizers and sponsors alike.

Speaking in interviews with, both the Namibian Football Association (NFA) President John Muinjo and the Namibian Newspaper editor Tangeni Amupadhi were on the same wavelength in their assessment of the competition.

Muinjo indicated that he was stunned by what took place during the tournament, particularly the splendid work put up by the organizing committee, and the support rendered by the Regional Council and the Governor’s office, adding that the event was good and incident free.

He said on the pitch of play the standard was excellent, while the referees did superbly well in handling the matches, adding that “this is how things should be done all the time.”

Muinjo also noted that the standard of football at the youth level has improved so much that there are no minors or teams traditionally regarded as big teams, as this was evidenced by the likes of Zambezi and Kavango who had previously struggled to do well in the competition. Kavango this year surpassed its previous under performances and went on to clinch the coveted Newspaper Cup.

The NFA President said good performances by teams like Zambezi and Kavango showed that the association’s youth programs and referees’ courses were yielding the anticipated results, as nowadays any team participating in the tournament can go on to clinch it.

Muinjo also expressed his gratitude towards the sponsors of the Newspaper Cup, The Namibian Newspaper and other sponsors, such as Ohorongo Cement, indicating that through their support in the organisation of the competition was a resounding success.

Turning to the talent of young stars paraded, Muinjo indicated that he was very impressed with the talent on show because scouts and national team coaches have already selected some players who participated in the competition and could immediately feature in upcoming national teams.

Muinjo said the standard displayed by players during the Newspaper Cup was top notch and that the fitness levels of players had improved as teams participating in this year’s Cup showed a high level of fitness and cohesion, all of which could be attributed to the fact that players have played together for a lengthy period.

Turning to corporate entities, Muinjo called on the business community to follow the example set by the Namibia Newspaper and forge ties with the NFA in order to help with the development of football in Namibia.

He added that as much as the NFA needs the corporate world to support football, equally the corporate community needed football since it was a massive brand which the corporate world could use as a vehicle to market their brands and get good returns on investment.

Muinjo said that grassroots development would be key for the development of football in Namibia, adding that without grassroots development the NFA would not be successful in its football developmental endeavours in general.

He said the NFA would have done a lot, but because of constraints such as a lack of sponsors which is hampering some of their plans, there was nothing much the NFA could do to attain such noble ideas of developing football in the country.

On his part, Amupadhi applauded the town of Tsumeb for organizing the tournament in a marvellous manner and bringing young stars from all parts of the country together, stressing that this would help unify the country.

Amupadhi said that the success of the Newspaper Cup would be to help bring young Namibians together to interact and help them realize that the most bizarre of things happening in different parts of the country do happen for a reason.

Turning to the talent of young players on display, he indicated that the tournament was not short of talent nor spectacle, noting that the goal scored by Kavango Region’s Maliti Felix Kazungo was a clear indication that the tournament did not lack in spectacular goals.

Kazungo scored arguably the best goal of the tournament when he collected a loose ball from the middle of the field halfway from the centre half and unleashed a venomous shot which sailed into the roof of the Oshana net with goalkeeper Mathew Angwena well beaten.

Amupadhi said that he was impressed by the tournament as a whole, the way it was organized and the people that descended on the town of Tsumeb, adding that people behaved well and that no major criminal activities were observed during the Easter competition as people interacted in a friendly manner.

The Oshikoto’s Local Organizing Committee (LOC) spokesperson Julius Gaeseb said that the tournament was a resounding success, as above all it brought joy and happiness to the inhabitants of Oshikoto Region, particularly residents of Tsumeb.

Gaeseb said the competition brought with it an economic boost to the town’s vendors who were kept on their toes during the entire tournament as they had to provide different goods and services to the Newspaper Cup’s attendants, stressing that “the tournament unified the 13 regions of the country, especially the boys who participated in the tournament.”

Turning to the talent the young lads exhibited, he said that if talent shown by the boys during the tournament was anything to go by, the future of the national team the Brave Warriors would be sound.

Gaeseb says that after watching a player like Glen Kamutjete, who was voted player of the tournament, he was happy that with proper guidance, future national teams could go on to match the class of 1998 which performed well during the Africa Cup of Nations in Burkina Faso.

He said players who showed promise and massive potential during the Newspaper Cup like Kamutjete, Kazungo, Jackson Johannes and others should be immediately drafted into the national team set up so that they are afforded an opportunity to grow with the national team and gain much needed exposure for the subsequent benefit of the senior national team.

Source : The Namibian