Author Topic: From the Sidelines: Shame on football bosses  (Read 750 times)

Offline David

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From the Sidelines: Shame on football bosses
« on: February 02, 2007, 09:55:45 AM »
THE recent chaos that marred the two friendly international matches that Namibia hosted against Zimbabwe cannot easily be swept under the carpet.

I know there are many logistical problems associated with teams that come to Namibia, but it is really a shame for the country's national anthem not to be sung at such high-profile events.

The drama that unfolded ahead of the second match where players of the Namibian national women's team were left no option but to put the markings on the field themselves, was a real embarrassment.

To top it all, the Unam Field at which the second match took place was in a such a pathetic state that the ball bounced in all directions because of missing grass at some spots.

The Unam Field was surely not the right venue for an international match and even the markings which were made were not visible enough.

In fact, newspapers in Zimbabwe carried stories this week about the poor state of the field, lack of protocol in singing the anthems of both countries and the absence of prominent football personalities.

Is it because it was a women's football match that few of the top officials came? Normally, a field is inspected by the team technical staff a day or two before.

Did this happen or not? What about the match officials, did they know that the venue would be in that sorry state before allowing the match to be played there? I think that the national teams should be given priority on the venue they want to play at.

The story of venues being fully booked, only to see second-division teams play on them while the national team is having an assignment, is unacceptable.

The Namibia Football Association should clearly assign tasks to individuals in future so that the blame game can be avoided.

Everyone I tried asking about these problems this week, was putting the blame on the next person.

This is not how national teams should be treated.

They should be catered for fairly and the best available resources should be availed to them - at all times.

We know that when the Brave Warriors (men's senior team) play, all systems are in place and even the president of the country is invited.

Why is women's football being treated differently? They have achieved a milestone in their short international history by reaching the Cosafa Cup final last year at which they obtained a silver medal after losing to South Africa.

The Namibian football fan base, including the NFA executive members, politicians and business people alike, were given the platform to show that they value the contributions made by this young side.

There were at least 150 people on the first day, but the figure dwindled further on the second day as no one really showed interest in seeing how these girls can play.

I understand that distance was a problem for the majority of football fans living in Katutura, but there should be no boundaries if a national team is in action.

If the team does not win abroad, people are quick to jump to conclusions that Namibia is hopeless on the international stage, but what about showing support when the game is on your doorstep? The other aspect is the marketing of the game by the host association.

I don't think the NFA is doing much to promote national teams when they are involved in international matches.

These teams are the pride of the country and it is unbelievable how little publicity sometimes they get from the media and the football authorities.

It is up to the authorities to come up with innovative ideas to attract people to the stadiums.

The NFA should appoint marketing personnel who will be responsible to promote the national team brand.