LAST year this time, Namibian football was in the same situation as now.

LAST year this time, Namibian football was in the same situation as now.

There was no date for the kick-off of the new season because of a wrangling between Rehoboth teams Deportivo Alaves and Mighty Birds over points and related matters.

The case dragged the league well into October, with teams already tired of training in preparation for the start of the league. Usually, leagues across the world start in August, but Namibia has developed a tendency of extending it well into October.There are many reasons for this and they can all be laid squarely at the door of those in charge of football.Thousands of players, from the premier league down to the third division, are affected by the delay of the league season after season, but it seems that the authorities have not been able to find a way of preventing this from happening.Teams, especially those in the premier league, spend thousands of dollars to keep their players active ahead of the league kick-off, meaning that they train for fun instead of looking forward to playing competitively.In real terms, the root cause of the league delay each season is that football authorities land themselves in so much trouble with the teams because they are inconsistent with their decisions.How many times have we seen the Namibia Premier League (NPL) or the Namibia Football Association (NFA) take decisions that are not according to the rulebook? Inconsistency and the inability of the football authorities to play by the rulebook have been haunting Namibian football and it’s time that the ones in charge take a firm stand on this.By now the football authorities should know that when it is relegation time, teams often come up with various complaints because they know that they can manipulate the system since the ones in charge do not even follow their own rules.Well, rules are rules, but if they are not implemented properly and consistently, there is always room for the culprits to exploit it.This has been happening over the years and this is what is keeping football in the doldrums on the league level.What are the teams that are not involved in these cases, but affected by them, doing? Nothing.Namibian club officials are active participants in the culture of wait and see.Maybe it suits them best, but I don’t think it is what the players want.The players want to play football and that’s it.It has been reported that close to 80 per cent of players on premiership level are not formally employed.All they want to do is to play football because that is their work.Imagine taking leave from work for four months.One will become bored, unless you have so much money that you can spend it on globetrotting.Players are bored and are tired of training in vain.They want to play competitively and win trophies, battle for the league title and fight for their places in the national teams.But this has been taken away from them.Although the NPL is largely responsible for running the league, the highest authority, the NFA, also has a duty to ensure that cases are resolved in time and that decisions are taken according to the rulebook and final.The Secretary General, Alpheus Gaweseb, should make sure that the football season starts and ends on the prescribed dates next time, as his team determine the dates.Gaweseb is in fact the central figure in football administration and it is inexplicable that his office has been unable to resolve an arbitration case such as the one of Life Fighters and the NPL.This case was supposed to be dead and buried a long time ago, but technicalities picked up by Life Fighters, which indeed were allowed by the NFA especially through granting an arbitration, led to all this mess.In case the SG is swamped by a lot of work as he allowed so much time for this case to be resolved, someone else who can do a better job should step in.It is against this background that the NFA needs more competent personnel who are well armed with the knowledge of the game to quash cases of teams that are often taking chances when they are at the point of being relegated.By now, president Petrus Damaseb should also have realised that a delayed league kick-off each year does not augur well for his reputation as the head of football in the country.Not only is he the head of Namibian football, but he is a prominent figure in Cosafa and Fifa ranks as well.Namibia, through Damaseb, should set an example for neighbouring countries by having a well-organised league, as we have representation on these two important international bodies.In essence, there should be no excuses at this point.Let us hope the Namibia Sport Commission (NSC) finds a solution to this protracted arbitration case to get the ball rolling.Next season, football officials should try to avoid such disruptions and ensure that the game is played according to the set dates.Footballers play the game on the field, not officials.Usually, leagues across the world start in August, but Namibia has developed a tendency of extending it well into October.There are many reasons for this and they can all be laid squarely at the door of those in charge of football.Thousands of players, from the premier league down to the third division, are affected by the delay of the league season after season, but it seems that the authorities have not been able to find a way of preventing this from happening.Teams, especially those in the premier league, spend thousands of dollars to keep their players active ahead of the league kick-off, meaning that they train for fun instead of looking forward to playing competitively.In real terms, the root cause of the league delay each season is that football authorities land themselves in so much trouble with the teams because they are inconsistent with their decisions.How many times have we seen the Namibia Premier League (NPL) or the Namibia Football Association (NFA) take decisions that are not according to the rulebook? Inconsistency and the inability of the football authorities to play by the rulebook have been haunting Namibian football and it’s time that the ones in charge take a firm stand on this.By now the football authorities should know that when it is relegation time, teams often come up with various complaints because they know that they can manipulate the system since the ones in charge do not even follow their own rules.Well, rules are rules, but if they are not implemented properly and consistently, there is always room for the culprits to exploit it.This has been happening over the years and this is what is keeping football in the doldrums on the league level.What are the teams that are not involved in these cases, but affected by them, doing? Nothing.Namibian club officials are active participants in the culture of wait and see.Maybe it suits them best, but I don’t think it is what the players want.The players want to play football and that’s it.It has been reported that close to 80 per cent of players on premiership level are not formally employed.All they want to do is to play football because that is their work.Imagine taking leave from work for four months.One will become bored, unless you have so much money that you can spend it on globetrotting.Players are bored and are tired of training in vain.They want to play competitively and win trophies, battle for the league title and fight for their places in the national teams.But this has been taken away from them.Although the NPL is largely responsible for running the league, the highest authority, the NFA, also has a duty to ensure that cases are resolved in time and that decisions are taken according to the rulebook and final.The Secretary General, Alpheus Gaweseb, should make sure that the football season starts and ends on the prescribed dates next time, as his team determine the dates.Gaweseb is in fact the central figure in football administration and it is inexplicable that his office has been unable to resolve an arbitration case such as the one of Life Fighters and the NPL.This case was supposed to be dead and buried a long time ago, but technicalities picked up by Life Fighters, which indeed were allowed by the NFA especially through granting an arbitration, led to all this mess.In case the SG is swam
ped by a lot of work as he allowed so much time for this case to be resolved, someone else who can do a better job should step in.It is against this background that the NFA needs more competent personnel who are well armed with the knowledge of the game to quash cases of teams that are often taking chances when they are at the point of being relegated.By now, president Petrus Damaseb should also have realised that a delayed league kick-off each year does not augur well for his reputation as the head of football in the country.Not only is he the head of Namibian football, but he is a prominent figure in Cosafa and Fifa ranks as well.Namibia, through Damaseb, should set an example for neighbouring countries by having a well-organised league, as we have representation on these two important international bodies.In essence, there should be no excuses at this point.Let us hope the Namibia Sport Commission (NSC) finds a solution to this protracted arbitration case to get the ball rolling.Next season, football officials should try to avoid such disruptions and ensure that the game is played according to the set dates.Footballers play the game on the field, not officials.

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