Heineken dribbles Brave Warriors

Eraslus Kulula of Namibia challenged by Ellis Doris Shire of Tunisia during FIFA World Cup Qualifiers 2026 match between Namibia and Tunisia at Orlando Stadium on the 09 June 2024 in Soweto Johannesburg © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
… pulls out on sponsorship deal

Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL), now owned by Heineken, has pulled the plug on its sponsorship of the Brave Warriors.

Namibia Football Association president Robert Shimooshili confirmed the development to Desert Radio recently.

He said the former sponsor cited the failure of the national team playing matches on home turf as its reason.

“Which is true, that is why we are really calling on our national leadership to have a stadium that will host international matches as a matter of urgency.”

Robert Shimooshili

The sponsorship is the longest the senior national football team has enjoyed, spanning almost 10 years.

However, the end of the agreement now sees the Brave Warriors heading into the 2024 Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup without an official sponsor.

The Brave Warriors, who recently played to a one-draw against Lesotho in an international friendly match, also recorded two one-draws in the African International Federation of Football Associations (Fifa) 2026 World Cup qualifying matches against Liberia and Tunisia, respectively.

“This type of thing will really affect and has a negative impact on the senior national team, including Namibia as a country,” said Shimooshili.

The disappointed NFA president said Namibia, through the Brave Warriors, is now exporting services to South Africa, giving temporary employment and spending many millions in that country’s economy.


Sport, youth and national service minister Agnes Tjongarero told The Namibian she is perplexed with the issue and was hearing of it for the first time.

The minister promised to engage the NFA to find out what led to the cancellation of the sponsorship before commenting on the matter in detail.

Agnes Tjongarero
Deon Hotto of Namibia challenges Mohamed Elyes Achouri of Tunisia during FIFA World Cup Qualifiers 2026 match between Namibia and Tunisia at Orlando Stadium on the 09 June 2024 in Soweto Johannesburg © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix


Local football critic Olsen Kahiriri said it is disheartening to learn that the national team’s long-term sponsor has withdrawn sponsorship.

Kahiriri noted that it is incomprehensible to have a senior national side without a sponsor.

“Tafel Lager became a trademark and basically when one talks about the Brave Warriors, you end up thinking about Tafel Lager,” he said.

“Tafel Lager was the signature … but unfortunately parted ways because they have lost airtime, meaning when the Brave Warriors play their games on home turf, the stadium is filled with Tafel Lager branding, from the corner of the pitch to the stadium stands and entertainment area where beer and soft drinks are sold,” said Kahiriri.

He added that the former sponsor used to enjoy commercial value when the Brave Warriors played at home but has now realised that they do not enjoy the same mileage.

“I blame the NFA and the government as football stakeholders for this chaotic situation. These two entities failed the sponsor.”

Efforts to get comment from Heineken were futile yesterday as they did not respond to questions sent to them by email.

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