I fail to comprehend the logic that prompted the new Namibia Premier League (NPL) executive to exclude the country’s dormant first division streams from benefiting from the N$20 million in sponsorship pumped into football by MTC and FNB Namibia, to kick-start the NPL.
In the past, when MTC was the NPL’s sole benefactor, the first division streams were included when the sponsorship funds were dished out.
How do we intend rising to the occasion, and getting our domestic elite league on par with its regional counterparts, including South Africa’s Premier Soccer League (PSL), when we discriminate against the lower division?
Furthermore, how will teams be promoted and relegated, if the first division streams remain inactive?
And with just a few months left before the 2017/18 football season comes to an end, how do we expect the successful conclusion of the first division streams, which have not even started, despite being told late last year by the NPL executive that they will kick off in January of this year?
NPL chairman Patrick Kauta is on record, informing the media that negotiations are at an advanced stage with an unnamed potential business sponsor, and had the audacity to tell us that letters would be sent to the first division clubs about the impending kickoff of the different streams, but so far they have received no indication of when this will happen.
It definitely boils down to a question of the transparency, accountability and credibility of the executive entrusted with the running of the NPL. Who is fooling who?
The situation in which the NPL finds itself rests squarely on the shoulders of the leadership, who from the onset decided not to include the first division streams within the N$20 million sponsorship deal.
They could have taken at least N$2 million and injected life into the first division streams, but decided to spend it all on the elite league.
What really troubles me as a football lover is that the dreams of first division sides, who want to graduate to the premier league, have once again been compromised. And who is to be blamed?
Why did the NPL’s leadership decide (and I know that that decision didn’t come from the sponsors) to rather source an alternative sponsor for the first division streams, given the uphill battle that it faced to draw MTC and FNB Namibia to the table, simply to conclude a deal that would see the start of the premier league?
Such Mickey Mouse decisions, taken by what many thought is a credible leadership, has left egg on their faces. Suddenly the monthly grants of the NPL clubs were increased, while totally turning a blind eye on the future of the first division streams.
Surely, with the 2017/18 season scheduled to conclude in May or June this year, it has to mean that the two bottom teams will have to be relegated, and that two first division clubs will take their place, but how is that going to happen?
This is all while the NPL is going through the process of shortlisting and interviewing candidates for a chief executive officer post. Where is the money going to come from to remunerate the envisaged CEO? Hiring this kind of expertise is a highly commendable move on the part of the NPL, as football fans want to see the successful continuation of the premier league, without any hindrance.
The unwarranted non-start of the NPL, which players and football fans alike had to endure when the league was in limbo for over a year, must be avoided at all costs.
However, just as critical is that the first division streams start their season, as they are the feeders for the elite league, and hold the aspirations of players who would rise to bolster the ranks of the Brave Warriors. Let decisions be taken for the betterment of the game, and not the other way round!
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015