Stars to Face Sundowns in Dr. Hage Geingob Cup

African Stars will play Mamelodi Sundowns in the Dr Hage Geingob Cup at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Sunday after they won the most votes through an SMS competition.

At a press conference at Soccer House on Wednesday, the NFA’s secretary general Barry Rukoro revealed that Stars had received 7 061 of the votes, followed by Black Africa (3 459), Tigers (3 166), Orlando Pirates (1 299) and Tura Magic (354).

Stars will now play Mamelodi Sundowns in the final of the Dr Hage Geingob Cup at 16h00 on Sunday, while Black Africa and Tigers will contest the main curtain raiser at 14h00.

Rukoro made an appeal to soccer fans to support the competition, saying it could grow in future.

“We are paying tribute to a great son of the soil through this competition and we are grateful to our clubs for their willingness to be part of this competition. We will have lots of entertainment with top Namibian musicians like the Dogg, Gazza, Tate Buti and many more, and we want Namibians from all walks of life to come and enjoy the event. We want to grow this tournament so that it becomes a major event on the Namibian football calendar,” he said.

Tickets cost N$20 per person and are available at Computicket at Shoprite or Checkers, or N$40 at the gate, while fans can make use of a free bus service from major bus stops to the stadium throughout the day.

“We have put together a comprehensive transport schedule and we thank the City of Windhoek for availing busses to take the fans to the stadium and back throughout the day, starting at 09h00. The gates will open at 10h00 while the first match will kick off at 12h00. There will be a surprise for the spectators at 12h00 and the first 3 000 fans will also receive free t-shirts to commemorate the day,” Rukoro said.

With Stars now playing Sundowns on Sunday, it will mean that they will play three crucial matches within six days. On Friday evening they face Black Africa in the league, while on Tuesday they face Tigers in a postponed league match.

Rukoro however said that they could still try and accommodate Stars if they made such a request.

“The Cup has the blessing of the NPL teams, but that’s something that can be dealt with technically. If some clubs say they are under pressure, then we can accommodate this and the NPL can sort it out in terms of flexibility,” he said.

Ian Stevenson of Namibia Breweries said it was the only date they could get to accommodate Sundowns.

“It was the only available date for Sundowns but I’d rather see the South African league champions here than to bring an inferior team.”

It was also announced that African Stars will receive N$150 000, while Black Africa and Tigers will receive N$100 000 each. Tim Ekandjo of MTC however did not divulge how much Sundowns would receive.

“There have been a lot of rumours about what Sundowns will receive, with some saying N$4 million and others N$6 million. But irrespective of what the amount is, the NFA has a confidentiality clause with Sundowns in terms of what they are getting paid, so it’s confidential,” he said.

“This is not about the money, but an appeal to our clubs to put their pride at stake. I think sport itself will be the winner on the day and this is where you can show off your flair and skills and put on a real spectacle for the fans. We’d like to see top club sides from Zambia, Botswana or Zimbabwe compete in this competition in future, so if we can fill the stadium it will help a lot,” Stevenson added.

Source : The Namibian