Debmarine Namibia has for the umpteenth time refused to be drawn into the current football crisis that has seen some of the top clubs ditching the NFA Cup, due to the uncertainty surrounding the start of the Namibia Premier League (NPL).
African Stars, Blue Waters, Chief Santos, Black Africa, Orlando Pirates and defending champions, Tigers, pulled out of the richest cup competition in the history of domestic football, arguing that the NPL should start first before they sign contracts with players to play in the cup competition, among other reasons.
But speaking during the draw of the Debmarine Cup round of 16 in Windhoek on Monday, Senior Financial Manager at Debmarine Namibia, Willy Mertens, said the competition will go ahead as planned.
“We all know that generally football in Namibia is not in a good space and that there are challenges regarding the NPL, which hampers the Brave Warriors’ preparation for international competitions.
“We also know about the teams that voluntarily decided not to take part in the cup, but I wouldn’t want to elaborate on it as teams are preparing for the next round and good luck to those teams that will take part in the round of 16 matches.
“We hope that all stakeholders work together amicably towards one goal, that is to get footballers on the field and allow them to showcase their skills and talents and by so doing earn an honest living,” Mertens said.
In the draw that was conducted at the UN Plaza in Katutura, Young African were pitted against Life Fighters, while Try Again will meet Eleven Arrows and Young Chiefs will play Bee Bob Brothers.
Touch and Go have a date against Rundu Chiefs, Tura Magic will play Gendev, UNAM will meet Mighty Gunners, Outjo FC were drawn against Eastern Chiefs and Civics will play Young Beauties.
The round of 16 matches will take place in Mariental and Walvis Bay on 17 June.
Debmarine Namibia used the draw on Monday to announce an increase in preparation money for teams in the round of 16, from the current N$18,000 to N$38,000, while the quarter-finalists will each receive N$58,000.
The semi-finalists will each receive N$78,000 in preparation money and a further N$150,000 for the losing semifinalist, while the losing finalist will receive N$108,000 in preparation money and a further N$250,000 in prize money ‑ totaling N$358,000.
The team that wins the competition will take home N$608,000, including the N$500,000 prize money.
The man of the match will receive N$1,000 and an equal amount will be donated to a charity of his choice. This will be increased to N$1,500 in the quarter-finals, N$2,000 in the semi-finals and N$5,000 in the final.
The Player of the Tournament, Coach of the Tournament and Top Goal Scorer will each receive N$20,000, with N$15,000 each earmarked for the goalkeeper, referee and assistant referee of the tournament.
In addition, the 17 First Division and regional Second Division teams received N$20,000 each for winning their respective zonal and regional play-offs.
The Debmarine Cup final is scheduled to take place on 25 November 2017.