National first divisions set to kick off next yearBy: SHEEFENI NIKODEMUS
NAMIBIA’S two first-division football streams will hopefully kick off early next year if their perennial financial struggles are resolved.
Both the Northern Stream First Division (NSFD) and Southern Stream First Division (SSFD) clubs are owed start-up capital of N$10 000 each from last season by the Namibia Football Association. Additionally the NFA also owes prize money to the four clubs that finished the 2011-12 campaign in second and third place in their respective divisions.
The first division’s league programme concluded at the end of May and only the winners, Rundu Chiefs and Tura Magic, received their earnings.
According to the SSFD’s league administrator, Mervin Geiriseb, the NFA had initially indicated that it would settle its debt before then end of October.
However that has not transpired and no reasons for the hold-up have been forthcoming from the NFA.
The NFA was not available for comment yesterday.
“The NFA informed us in writing before our consultative meeting on October 27 that the money will be made available. We don’t know when exactly we will get this money,” said Geiriseb.
“The league kick-off will only be next year, maybe towards the end of January or early February, as the clubs agreed to wait for the funds to be available.”
The first division is jointly funded by MTC and the NFA, and according to Geiriseb MTC has already settled its portion of the financing for last season and the upcoming campaign.
“MTC’s money for the 2012-13 is available but we cannot use it for outstanding costs from last season. That money is already budgeted for next season’s activities,” Geiriseb said.
In the meantime, the frustrated clubs have ordered their players to stop training until they know when the league will start.
“We are not happy but it’s out of our hands. We are disappointed. This is not good for our football, ” said Desert Rollers chairman Quentin Visagie.
“We are not even practising now because we are not playing and we are not paying these guys for training.”
Visagie also said that teams from the second-tier division would be at a great disadvantage if the mooted NFA Cup does resurface next year.
“We will only start training in January and normally the early [NFA Cup] rounds start in late January so our guys won’t be as fit as the Premier League players. We will struggle,” Visagie said.
The chairman of Desert Rollers football club, Ludwig ‘Crooks’ Nunubeb, who also doubles as the SSFD’s vice chairman, preached patience.
“I understand the frustrations of the club but at times we need patience. We want an overall efficient running of the league which will allow us to finish in reasonable time and that can only happen if we have all the required funding available,” Nunuheb said.