The Namibia Premier League (NPL) has confirmed that newly-promoted club, Young Brazilians, will be playing their home matches at the sandy Karasburg Stadium after months of uncertainty.
NPL chairman, Patrick Kauta, confirmed this to the Windhoek Observer on Wednesday at the launch of the 2018/2019 season in Windhoek.
There have been talks that Young Brazilians, who gained promotion after winning the Southern Stream First Division last season, would play their home matches at the J. Stephanus Stadium in Keetmanshoop, some 213km from Karasburg, after concerns were raised that the Karasburg Stadium is not fit for NPL matches.
“The stadium is fit and playable. It will be unfair for any newly-promoted side not to play their home matches at home,” Kauta said.
Young Brazilians’ first taste of top flight football will be at home against Blue Waters on Saturday at 15H00.
All 16 teams in the league will this season receive N$114,000 as monthly grants, up from the previous N$65,000.
The prize money for winning the league will, however, remain unchanged at N$1 million.
Kauta said the increase in the monthly grants will cushion clubs against rising travelling, accommodation and personnel costs.
The league was set to start in September, but was delayed due to some unforeseen circumstances including the late conclusion of the three First Division streams and the controversy surrounding the Military School which was later renamed Okahandja United.
Okahandja United is co-owned by former Brave Warriors great Congo Hindjou, who is also Okahandja mayor.
Okahandja United’s first match in top flight football will be at home against Tigers.
Kauta did not entertain any questions about the controversy surrounding Okahandja United.
“This is not the platform to discuss about these issues as we are here to launch the league. We can discuss this on another platform. It is inappropriate to ask such questions,” Kauta said.
He, however, said the league will appoint an acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) before the start of the league, while it is still negotiating with a long term CEO.
Also speaking at the launch, MTC’s Chief of Human Capital and Corporate Affairs, Tim Ekandjo, told the league secretariat that it should work towards turning the league professional.
MTC has over the past 18-years been part and parcel of the NPL with a staggering N$133 million investment.
“The league has not yet grown in terms of professionalism. It is now the right time for the league to come off age and turn professional,” Ekandjo said.
He added that MTC and the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) were currently negotiating to televise the later part of the league.