WHILE Namibia Premier League (NPL) club chairpersons are hard at work trying to have the non-starting league’s revised constitution adopted, other world football leagues have officially kicked off.
I personally fail to understand, who exactly is holding the local league kickoff hostage, given the past utterances by the Namibia Football Association (NFA) that the journey towards having the revised constitution adopted was well-advanced, including sending it to FIFA for comment. But having said that, maybe it will be better if the new NPL season rather kicks off early next year. This is a far better scenario than having the league start this year, and then having it being disrupted by the December holidays. There are also other reasons why I am pushing for this. I personally don’t have qualms with any football administrator, but the situation on the ground is so pitiful, that there are still clubs that have to date not kicked off with their pre-season training. While the clubs chairpersons are hard at work, there are still clubs that have not contracted players, because there is simply no money to remunerate them. Players want to be paid for their services, and that means that once they report for training sessions, they should be remunerated. I have been reliably informed that once the revised constitution is adopted, and the NPL club chairpersons will host an annual general meeting to elect a management committee. They will then inform a potential sponsor, who has already been lined up, who will not hesitate to announce a sponsorship agreement. However, I would want to propose that the league starts early next year. A number of issues come to mind, such as when will the field inspections be conducted countrywide? Player registration was another problem, which includes a transfer window announcement. Perhaps another important aspect is who is likely to vie for what position in the new NPL leadership, and this should take place in a transparent and just fashion, to avoid backstabbing and bickering. Surely individual club chairpersons are expected to campaign for positions, but are outsiders allowed to vie for positions? It’s extremely important for the club chairpersons to speak with one voice, until the process is amicably completed, so that there will be no loose cannons. Namibians have been denied their number one sport for over a year, but I am confident that the sport code, so loved by many, will be able to reclaim its rightful place. We all know that another niggling issue is why we are in this mess in the first place? The previous NPL management, under the chairmanship of Johnny John Doeseb, proposed a N$25 million annual budget.
The question now is: Where do we stand?
Is the new management going to propose the same budget? We have also been told that a number of companies have expressed an interest in co-sponsoring football, but transparency on the side of both the NPL and NFA has been lacking. The NPL club chairpersons have been tasked by the national football body with completing the recommended processes and if the new NPL management decide to have the league start before the end of the year, it will be their prerogative. However, I want to caution those that will be entrusted with the decision to put the interest of football first, and avoid any unnecessary fights. The national senior team has proven that Namibia is endowed with talent, despite having a non-starting league. Our performances at the 2017 Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) Castle Cup and the 2018 African Championship (CHAN) qualifiers bear testimony to the talent that we have. Once again, let me implore the NPL club chairpersons to speak with one voice, and give Brave Warriors head coach Ricardo Mannetti the necessary ammunition for the 2019 AFCON qualifiers and next year’s Cosafa Cup.
Let football be the winner!
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015