Stars to go professional, as African safari lessons entice bosses

17 Dec 2018 19:20pm
WINDHOEK, 17 DEC (NAMPA) – African Stars Football Club’s participation in the 2018/19 Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League has been a big learning curve on how to run football professionally.
This was said by Stars chairman Patrick Kauta on Monday at a media conference in the capital, where he added that some of the things they are learning during the safari do not need money for implementation.
He said they will compile a report which they will share with other Namibia Premier League (NPL) clubs at the conclusion of the competition.
“In Namibia very few NPL clubs provide their team line-up during matches, but in Africa the team sheet must be available one hour and 30 minutes before games, for example. This can be done here because all we need is to print the line-ups,” Kauta explained.
He added that Stars are responding to the NPL main sponsor - Mobile Telecommunications Limited’s call to professionalise football in Namibia by challenging themselves and competing with the best on the continent.
He said despite the cost of the safari, Stars will aim to be run like other professional clubs in Africa and beyond.
“After we beat Orlando Pirates this coming Saturday, I can tell you without any fear of contradiction, you can start calling Stars the first professional club in Namibia,” Kauta said confidently.
He added that while on the African safari, they also learnt that games’ logistics are handled by the national federations, further explaining that every time they had complaints, they were always directed to a South African Football Association official as they did not have a representative of the Namibia Football Association there.
“The league and the NFA must be closely linked. We also have benefited from NFA because had we not worked with them, we would have been knocking our heads against the wall,” he explained.
“We had to request that our mid-week game be postponed. Pirates and Sundowns’ games were planned in a way that during the champions league week, they do not have mid-week games. They were thinking we are too amateurish, or we just do not know what we are doing,” Kauta added.
His views were echoed by Salomo Hei, Stars executive director, who said there is a huge organisational machinery behind the planning of football at professional level.
“How do you quantify the experience of an African safari in football from any of the Stars players? How do you convert that into monetary value. The level of development of these players is so high that after this tournament, the lives of these players have changed forever,” explained Hei.
Stars will face Orlando Pirates on Saturday at 16h00 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in the second leg of the 2018/19 CAF Champions League.
The first leg ended 0-0 on Saturday at the Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.