Gobabis to host Newspaper Cup

Football and netball
Since the first Newspaper Cup in 2000, it has only been interrupted twice, due to Covid-19.
Brian Munango
The Namibia Football Association and Netball Namibia have launched the 22nd edition of the Nedbank Namibian Newspaper Cup.

The Omaheke Region was granted the bid to host this year’s edition in Gobabis, to take place from Friday, 29 March to Monday, 1 April.

The headline sponsor Nedbank Namibia is back to complement The Namibian Newspaper Cup, holding the naming rights of this extraordinary Under-20 football and netball competition.

The youth sport competition spearheaded by The Namibian for the past 21 years is the longest-running sponsor for NFA’s Namibia’s Under20 football and netball players.

The tournament provides a proven platform for Namibian youth to exhibit their skills in football and netball, bringing the teams from all 14 regions together.

Government is a critical stakeholder, as it provides secured transport from the homes of the athletes from every region to and from hosts Omaheke.

Deputy minister of sport, youth and national service, Hon. Emma Kantema-Gaomas said the Under-20 football and netball competition is more than an exhibition of sport.

“It is an extraordinary even that unites people, that builds teamwork, and increases resilience that defines us as Namibians, as we are now confronted by the untimely passing of the late patron of the NFA, late Dr Hage Geingob, whose death we are still trying to come to terms with.”

She quoted the late president’s words, “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members”, adding that this philosophy is intricately woven into the fabric of the National Youth Policy, for empowerment through sport and other avenues of societal engagement.

Speaking as the host of the upcoming Newspaper Cup, the governor of Omaheke Region, Hon. Pijoo Nganate said: “I want to recommit right from the onset of the official launch and draw, making it crystal clear that Omaheke Region stands firm behind the NFA, Netball Namibia, Nedbank, The Namibian, the ministry of sport, youth and national service and Coca-Cola, reassuring that Omaheke commits to deliver an incredible 22nd edition of the Nedbank/Namibian Newspaper Cup,” Governor Nganate promised.

About the bank’s return as the main sponsor, Nedbank Namibia Managing Director, Martha Murorua said: “As an organisation, we exercise careful consideration in selecting the projects we invest in, ensuring that they align with and reflect our company ethos. Having played a pivotal role in the Nedbank Namibian Newspaper Cup from 2015 to 2018, we experienced firsthand how the tournament's impact transcends the sports field, leaving a lasting impression on the lives and livelihoods of all participants.

“Our investment into the Newspaper Cup represents our single largest investment into any of our other key sponsorship properties, and thus solidifies just how much we value the tournament.”

The editor-in-chief of the Namibian newspaper Tangeni Amupadhi expressed that the developmental tournament has grown to become a true giant.

“We began the first Newspaper Cup in the year 2000, and it has only been interrupted twice, due to the Covid-19 pandemic’s logistical issues. We are grateful to Nedbank Namibia, as they were the first corporate sponsor to come on board and with their help, we were able to add netball to this event,” said Amupadhi.


Netball Namibia President, Rebekka Goagoses, stated that this will be their fifth inclusion in the championship and that it has certainly helped to grow the sport.

“We have been using this competition to train umpires, some of whom have now reached an international standard. During the same competition, we have also identified talented athletes who have graduated from junior to senior level. This competition works very well for us, to easily identify talent as they all gather at one place for a long weekend of action,” she said.

Speaking at the same event, NFA vice-president, Jakobus Markus said: “The NFA is proud to be part of this noble initiative; even more so having sponsors such as Nedbank, The Namibian, the ministry of sport, youth and national service and Coca-Cola.

“We believe that this competition will increase the returns on your marketing investment, especially for the intended purpose you associate your corporate brand with the NFA and the Newspaper Cup,” he said.

“The Newspaper Cup is the pinnacle of youth football and netball development, pulling the teams of all 14 regions to one central point.

“For four days, Gobabis will be filled to the brim with football and netball players, officials, administrators, referees, sponsors, small and medium enterprises, selling food and beverages,” Markus stated.

The launch coincided with the draw which determined which teams that will face off in the group stages.

For football, the teams were grouped as follows: Group A, Zambezi, Oshikoto, Hardap, Khomas; Group B, Kavango East, Kavango West, Oshana and Khomas; Group C, Otjozondjupa, Ohangwena, Omusati; Group D, Karas, Erongo, Omaheke.

For netball, the teams were grouped as follows: Group A, Ohangwena, Otjozondjupa, Kavango West, Oshana, Omusati, Kunene, and Karas. Group B, Hardap, Khomas, Erongo, Oshikoto, Kavamgo East, Zambezi, Omaheke.

The full fixtures will be announced on the official NFA and The Namibian platforms in due course.