Standard Bank Top 8 Cup gets N$9 million boost
Standard Bank Namibia made a grand return to football on Thursday with the announcement of the N$9 million Standard Bank Top 8 Cup sponsorship.
Namibia Premier League teams that finished in the top eight last season, including champions, African Stars and Black Africa, have been drawn to play quarter final matches between 31 January and 2 February.
Black Africa and Tura Magic get the competition underway with a mouth-watering clash on Thursday 31 January.
UNAM FC have been drawn against Young African, Mighty Gunners against Tigers, while African Stars will play Eleven Arrows.
The first leg of the semi-final matches will be played on 20 February with the second leg scheduled for 23 February, while the final will be held on 30 March at a venue to be announced.
Standard Bank Namibia Chief Executive, Vetumbuavi Mungunda, officially launched the Standard Bank Top 8 Cup in Windhoek at an event attended by the who is who of Namibian football.
At the launch, Mungunda said the development of sport should not only be left in the hands of Government.
“There are Namibians plying their trade outside the country earning foreign currency for the country. It is an industry that needs support from both government and the private sector to grow and create more opportunities for Namibians.
“It is against this background that Standard Bank saw it befitting to strengthen our relationship with football and contribute to the development of this popular sport by committing a sponsorship of N$9 million over three years, or N$3 million per year over the next three years towards the Standard Bank Top 8 Cup, which will be hosted by the NPL,” Mungunda said.
The Standard Bank Chief Executive said there are similarities between football and Standard Bank, including the fact that both are universal.
“Football is played from Lagos in Nigeria, Soweto in South Africa, Katutura, Rundu in Namibia. Standard Bank has operations across the continent in places such as Nigeria, Angola, DRC, Katutura, Oshakati, Bethanie and many other towns.
“Football is also an industry which pays salaries, rentals, bills, educate children and add to the growth of an economy.”
The Namibia Premier League comprises of 16 teams and each team has about 25 registered players, totalling about 400 players.
“I am told that most of these teams do pay their players and other technical assistants providing employment and vocations to Namibians who otherwise would be without opportunities for engaging in economic activities,” Mungunda said.
Standard Bank Namibia entered football in 2014 with an N$3 million sponsorship of the Standard Bank Super Cup over three years.
“As we are aware, unfortunately football entered a period of dormancy around 2016 into 2017.
“When the NPL, with the support of the NFA, approached us to review and continue our involvement and support to football, it was not an easy decision given the period of inactivity and uncertainty that prevailed at that point in time,” Mungunda further said.
“However, following a period of review I am happy to be here today and feel very honoured to officiate at this grand launch this morning.”
Mungunda urged football administrators to give football investors and sponsors value-for-money.
“Not only should they demonstrate value-for-money, but they should actively look at ways of enhancing this value-for-money to the investors in their sector, so as to continually attract further investments,” he said.
The Standard Bank Top 8 Cup competition promises great excitement as the top eight teams in the domestic league championship will compete for a piece of the N$1,000,000 prize money, with the winner earning N$500,000.
Several individual awards have been lined up, including The Man of the Match Award after every game and The Top Goal Scorer award.
Caption: Vetumbuavi J. Mungunda, CEO Standard Bank; Ricardo Manetti, Namibia National Football Coach; and Patrick Kauta, Namibia Premier League Chairman