I do not understand why the bigger Namibia Premier League (NPL) teams are flexing their muscles, and refusing to play in the upcoming Debmarine Namibia Cup round of 32.
The so-called smaller teams are more than eager to play in the cup competition, and I must say that I am shocked at the bullying tactics being employed by the so-called top dogs.
What audacity they have, to think they can decide the fate of the tournament, after the NPL interim committee has already announced that the 2017 football season will officially kick off next month.
Why are the top teams then refusing to compete in the Debmarine Namibia Cup round of 32, which will be played two weeks earlier?
The NPL interim committee has communicated to their esteemed 16 clubs, and has dished out the draft fixtures for consideration, ahead of the 12 May league start.
But the top teams are still claiming that they are not ready to play in the Debmarine Namibia Cup round of 32.
What double standard is this?
Truth be told, some of these teams are holding football hostage.
Apparently some of the most decorated teams have, to date, not kicked off with their preseason training, because they have de-contracted their players, who have now turned into free agents. These clubs can therefore not form teams, because they have no players.
Perhaps they have forgotten, and must be reminded, that when the 2015/16 league season was ongoing, there was no NFA Cup, and yet the NPL went ahead.
But now that the NPL has failed to start, because of ongoing sponsorship issues, the top teams are giving all kind of excuses not to play in the NFA flagship cup competition.
The leadership of these so-called big clubs must be truthful to their supporters, and tell them why they don’t want to take part in the Debmarine Cup round of 32.
Surely the smaller NPL clubs must not allow themselves to be bullied and forced to buy into the hidden agenda of these top clubs.
The honourable thing for the seven-plus top clubs to do is to call a press conference and explain their side of the story.
We all know that the NPL is not united on this issue. The number of clubs who want to play in the Debmarine Cup appears to be more than those who do not want to play, for their own selfish reasons.
Players want to play football. They have been idle for too long. They have been without an income, and their loved ones have been suffering. The football fraternity has been begging sponsors to come on board, but now some clubs are chasing them away, by wanting to boycott the country’s premier cup competition.
The teams that want to play in the Debmarine Namibia Cup must not be intimidated. They must express themselves individually, or as a group. Those that do not want to play, should not play, if they so wish.
I have also learned that the NPL interim committee chairman, Cosmos Franco, has allegedly warned that there will be consequences for those clubs that will play in the Debmarine Namibia Cup. What madness is that? In terms of which rule or law will a club be punished for playing in a compulsory tournament?
My parting shot to football administrators is that they should not allow their personal issues get in the way of the players, who just want to play football. Do not use the NPL or the Debmarine Namibia Cup to fight your battles. For once, let’s be civil and let reason prevail. We cannot always entertain personal differences, camouflaged as football problems. The football fraternity is getting sick and tired of your dramas, which have done nothing else but destroy the good image of football. Enough is enough!
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015