Big and better

2018/19 NPL season launched

08 November 2018 | Sports

MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) chairman Patrick Kauta has promised a bigger and better 2019/19 premier league season.

“I can assure you that this is going to be a good season and we will make sure that things are done in a professional way.

“The fact that there will be one game a weekend for each team is a clear sign that the quality of football will improve,” Kauta said yesterday at the official launch of the season, which kicks off on Friday.

The chairman also lauded MTC and FNB for their continued commitment to sponsoring the league. Kauta said the N$15 million sponsorship by MTC and the N$5 million from FNB for the 2018/19 season will keep around 480 players off the streets.

This season, each club will receive an improved grant of N$114 285 per month. The monthly grant was N$65 000 per team during the 2017/18 season. Kauta, however, did not deliver a verdict on the Young African saga.

Legal practitioner and NPL prosecutor Kadhila Amoomo has recommended that the club be suspended for allegedly using a Zimbabwean player in their team last season, who allegedly played under a false name.

An NPL executive committee meeting on Tuesday was to have determined Young African's fate in the top-flight, but it appears this may not have happened as planned.

“This issue will be communicated to the media and public once a decision has been made. We are at this moment more focused on launching the league and getting it started on Friday,” Kauta said. MTC has sponsored the league to the tune of N$133 million since 2001.

The company, however, pleaded with league administrators to work hard in order to make the league professional.

“I urge the leaders of the league to move to a vision of professionalism. I can also confirm that MTC is in talks with NBC in order to have live broadcasts of matches in the latter stage of the season.

“We have to do away with the thinking that people will not come to stadiums if the matches are broadcast live,” MTC executive Tim Ekandjo said.

FNB's Gordon Pokolo said the bank is pleased to continue sponsoring the premier league.

It was further announced that the league is in the process of appointing an acting CEO until a permanent appointment is made.

Tura Magic and Orlando Pirates will open the season on Friday night when they meet at the Sam Nujoma Stadium at 20:00.

Newcomers Okahandja United face a baptism of fire when they battle Tigers FC in Okahandja on Saturday at 15:00.

Black Africa will be on the road, as they face Julinho Sporting at the Rundu Sport Stadium on Saturday at 15:00.

Newcomers Young Brazilians FC take on Blue Waters at the Karasburg Stadium on Saturday at 15:00.

Civics FC will host Eleven Arrows in Windhoek at the Sam Nujoma Stadium at 17:00.

Unam FC is pitted against Mighty Gunners at the Sam Nujoma Stadium at 19:00.

Young African FC is due to host Citizens FC at the Legare Stadium on Saturday at 15:00.

Life Fighters and champions African Stars will battle it out on Sunday at the Sam Nujoma Stadium at 17:00.

Jesse Jackson Kauraisa