Blue Waters v Chula Chula in standout tie 

Some female players modelling jerseys that teams will wear in the PstBet NFA Cup. Photo: Helge Schütz

BLUE Waters take on Eeshoke Chula Chula in the stand-out tie of the PstBet NFA Cup Round of 32 which will be held on the weekend of 3-5 May.

The draw and official launch of the competition, which is being sponsored by PstBet to an amount of N$6 million, took place at the Windhoek Country Club Hotel yesterday where the winners of the first and second division preliminary rounds, as well as the 16 premier league teams were drawn for the Round of 32, while the draw for the women’s competition was also made. 

The coastal giants Blue Waters were drawn against the popular northern team, Eeshoke Chula Chula, in the only match-up between two premier league clubs, while the rest of the contests will be between premier league clubs on the one hand and first or second division clubs on the other. 

The CEO of PstBet, Steve Hamunyela said the competition had already delivered some memorable matches and upsets. 

“This is by far the most common soccer tournament in Namibia – teams from all the regions participate in the same competition with one common goal – to win the ultimate prize of being crowned the PstBet NFA Cup champions and to get an opportunity to participate on the continent,” he said. 

“We are delighted to note that the tournament has already successfully progressed to the Round of 32, with notable and interesting surprises making it into this round,” he added. 

“We cannot wait to kick off this round because it will be action-packed and exciting. Given the success of the recent Namibian Newspaper Cup in Gobabis, we are excited to see so many talented young footballers coming through the ranks,” he said.

The vice president of the NFA, Murs Markus said more than 7 000 players and officials benefitted from the compettion. 

“The PSTBet NFA Cup is big by design – we have 36 clubs in the nationwide first division, 168 clubs in the regional second divisions, 12 clubs in the FNB Women’s Super League, and 16 clubs in the Debmarine Namibia Premiership that compete in this unprecented inclusive men and women’s football competition,” he said.

“In essence 6 960 players compete for the top honours of the player of the series awards in the men and women’s categories. The 6 960 players do not include administrators and matchofficials and if you do your maths you will realise that the impact of the PstBet NFA Cup is enormous and it will enhance the narrative of the NFA in leaps and bounds,” he added. 

‘Platform for talent discovery and development’ – Tembwe 

Nicolars Tembwe, the director of youth development in the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service, speaking on behalf of deputy minister Emma Kantema-Gaomas thanked PstBet for their sponsorship. 

“The Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service is dedicated to fostering an environment where sport and community development converge. Events like the PstBet NFA Cup are crucial to our mission. They provide a platform for talent discovery and development, they inspire unity and national pride, and they contribute significantly to the social and economic fabric of our nation,” he said. 

“This collaboration is a true embodiment of the potential that lies within Namibian football and the broader sports fraternity. We are witnessing a positive and upward trajectory for the NFA and its related football products, thanks to the diligent efforts of the NFA executive council since its election on the 17th of November last year. This demonstrates an admirable commitment that is aligned with the ministry’s vision for sport in our nation. This sponsorship, which we hope will belong term, is a beacon of progress and a testament to the strength of partnership in advancing our beloved sport of football,” he added. 

The winner of the men’s competition will receive N$500 000, the runners-up N$200 000, the third-placed team N$100 000 and the fourth-placed team N$50 000, while there will also be individual awards for the player of the tournament (N$15 000), the top goalscorer (N$10 000), the top goalkeeper (N$10 000), the referee of the tournament (N$10 000) and the assistant referee of the tournament (N$5 000). 

The winner of the women’s competition will receive N$200 000, the runners-up N$100 000, the third-placed team N$50 000 and the fourth-placed team N$30 000, while the player of the series will receive N$15 000, the top goalscorer N$10 000, and the goalkeeper N$10 000. 

The Round of 32 draw for the men is as follows:

Okahandja United v Youngsters FC; Khomas Nampol v Swallows FC, Golden Bigs v Young African; Julinho Sporting v Friends; Eleven Arrows v Mighty Gunners; Eeshoke Chula Chula v Blue Waters; Swakop SC v Civics; FC Ongos v Africa United; Unam Ogongo v Tigers; Hamutu Mbangela FC v Young Brazilians; Unam v KK United; Sunrise FC v Orlando Pirates; Okakarara Young Warriors v Further Fighters.

The opponents for African Stars and Oryza Sativa must still be determined. 

The first round draw for the women’s competition sees the defending champions FC Ongos up against Namib Daughters, Khomas Nampol taking on Girls & Goals, Beauties up against V Power Angels, and Unam up against Ongwediva Queens. The remaining four premier league clubs – Arrows Ladies, Ramblers Women, Nust Babes and Okahandja FC –  all receive a bye into the next round of the competition. 

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