Namibia Premier League (NPL) reigning champions, African Stars, will be playing in this season’s Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League which starts at the end of this month, the club confirmed this week.
This will be Stars’ first sojourn in the CAF Champions League, having previously played in the second tier CAF Confederations Cup in 2014 and in the 1992 CAF Cup where it failed to go beyond the first round.
In the 1992 CAF Cup, Stars were beaten 5-0 on aggregate by Mbongo Sport Club from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Stars lost the first leg in Windhoek 2-0 before they went down 3-0 in the return leg in DRC.
In 2014, Stars lost 3-2 on aggregate to Petro Atlético de Luanda of Angola after winning the first leg 2-0 in Windhoek and losing 3-0 away in the return leg.
Speaking to the Windhoek Observer this week, Stars Chairman, Patrick Kauta, said they decided to take part in this season’s CAF Champions League to market domestic football on the African continent.
“We owe it to our players, fans and the country at large to participate in this competition, because only that (participation) will take the game in this country far,” Kauta said.
The club has embarked on a campaign to raise funds towards its participation in the competition unlike in the past when it was bankrolled by former club owner Sydney Martin and other benefactors.
Kauta could, however, not say how much Stars need to cover their participation costs in the competition.
“It is difficult to quantify the cost because we do not know who the club will be drawn against. The club is busy with a rigorous campaign to raise sponsorship and funds. We will only learn about our opponent mid-November,” he said.
The first leg of the CAF Champions League preliminary round is scheduled to start on the weekend of 27–28 November, with the second leg to be played a week later.