African Stars have not yet decided on whether to take part in any African club competitions later this year after winning both the Namibia Premier League and the Debmarine Namibia Cup.
Stars qualified to play in the CAF Champions League and the CAF Confederations Cup by virtue of winning the league and the NFA cup, respectively.
As a result, Stars have an option to either compete in the prestigious Champions League or its less glamorous cousin, the Confederations Cup.
Stars beat UNAM 1-0 in the final of the Debmarine Namibia Cup last Saturday at a well-attended match at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, thanks to a Treasure Kauapirurua’s bullet header in the 73rd minute.
The Katutura giants have now collected N$1,5 million in prize money after pocketing N$1 million for winning the league title and N$500,000 for clinching the season ending Debmarine Namibia Cup.
However, chances of African Stars taking part in any African club competition appear slim as the club, just like any other club in the country, is not in compliance with CAF’s rules and regulations on licensing.
Last year, CAF’s Media Officer, Kofi Addae, told the Windhoek Observer that there are a host of financial and administrative requirements that clubs must adhere to in order to take part in continental club competitions.
These requirements include appropriate infrastructure, knowledge and application in respect of management and organization, adapting and improving the clubs sporting infrastructure, improving the economic and financial capacity of the clubs, through proper corporate governance and control.
“If the clubs don’t meet the requirements, then the Club Licensing Decision-making bodies might not grant them the license to participate in CAF Club Competitions,” Addae said.
None of the current NPL clubs meet all the required rules and regulations of CAF.
Stars last took part in the CAF Confederations Cup in 2014, but failed to reach the proper group stage after they were beaten 3-2 on aggregate by Petro Atletico de Luanda of Angola.
African Stars executive member, Brian Makari, told the Windhoek Observer that the club is still thinking on whether or not to take part in either the Champions’ League or the Confederations Cup.
“We are still thinking in that direction (taking part in Africa). I cannot say that we are definitely going to take part in the competition, but we are going to see if we can engage with the relevant authorities (NFA) where we lack in terms of requirements in taking part in the competition,” Makari said.
Asked how the club will reward the players after winning the double, Makari said the players are very much aware of what they will get as per their agreements with the club.
“We are going to use the money for various activities. Stars pay its players for 12 months, and as per agreement we also pay them bonus money. We cannot talk of the money now because we have not received any money (NPL and Debmarine Cup),” Makari said.
He added that the club is still in the process of reconsidering offering medical aid to players after it stopped doing so due to the uncertainty surrounding the start of the 2016/2017.
NPL chief administrator, Tovey //Hoebeb, said the league takes the club licensing rules seriously, adding that come the 2018/2019 season the clubs and the league will be communicating on a regular basis in order to find a strategic way of meeting CAF’s club licensing rules.
“We are planning to have an in-depth meeting later this year with stakeholders including the media on how best it can be done (turning clubs professional). It will be good if you the media can also suggest ideas on how we can do it,” //Hoebeb said.
“We are very far from meeting club licensing (rules), but there are some clubs that have offices that have employed people while other clubs are still lagging behind. That is why it will be good for clubs to adopt a school in order to make use of the school’s training ground. We want to make 2018/2019 season a season of realization in terms of club licensing and we also want to get away with double headers, but the question still remains how since we do not have resources,” //Hoebeb said.