Premier League botches kickoffBy: SHEEFENI NIKODEMUS
THE Namibia Premier League will no longer start this weekend, as not a single player had been registered with the NPL office by yesterday afternoon.
League chairman, Johnny Doëseb said that an emergency meeting by the NPL Board of Governors had decided to delay the kickoff by a week on Wednesday evening.
According to Doëseb, the league’s start had to be postponed because there had been delays with the introduction of a new electronic registration system.
While the last campaign ended in April, the system – sourced by the Namibia Football Association – was introduced to the clubs only three weeks ago.
The new system’s software has since malfunctioned which led to the delay, said Doëseb.
He added that Fifa regulations warrant that the new players’ registration process be implemented before the league could commence.
The 2012/13 league season is now scheduled to start next weekend.
“In the few days following the League Cup, the NPL was inundated with a number of concerns and issues from our stakeholders, including the individual clubs. These concerns ranged from player registrations, sponsorship, and injuries emanating from the League Cup,” Doëseb told reporters.
“While we extend apologies to the Namibian soccer-loving public for this one-week delay, we are of the opinion that the decision was taken in the best interest of the league in particular and football in general, he added.
“We have learned from previous experiences and we would like to ensure that all the necessary modalities are in place”, Doëseb explained
However, insiders say the real reason for the hold-up is that clubs are unwilling to pay the new transfer fee of N$8 000 per player, which is in line with an earlier directive by the NFA.
This is more than double last year’s fee of N$3 500 and most clubs are said to have vowed to contest the fee.
The Board of Governors also resolved to have the official launch of the Namibia Premier League season next week Tuesday.
“The NPL’s sponsorship allocation, prize monies, club monthly grants as well as the general outlook of the 2012/13 MTC Premiership will be clarified at the launch event. What we can assure you, however, is that there will be reason for the clubs and football fraternity to look forward to the League challenge when we eventually kick off on 28 September,” Doëseb said.
– Additional reporting by namibiasport.com.na