Author Topic: From the Sidelines: NPL need to draw line on teams  (Read 765 times)

Offline David

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From the Sidelines: NPL need to draw line on teams
« on: February 16, 2007, 09:20:50 AM »
THE Namibia Premier League has scheduled the derby match between Black Africa and Orlando Pirates and other matches in that league on the same day that the national team is in action.

Now, over the years I was under the impression that when the national team is in action, irrespective of what age group, women or men, there should be no league encounters, especially at the top level.

In fact, matches in the first and second division continue as long as they don't clash in terms of venues with the national teams.

But now, the derby between Pirates and Black Africa will be played on Saturday, about an hour and half after the Namibian women have concluded their date with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

I ask myself why this is happening.

Firstly, it would have been ideal if the two matches were scheduled at the same venue (Sam Nujoma Stadium), but both Pirates and BA are said to be losing out on the gate-takings if they play at the same venue as the Gladiators.

In fact, the rationale behind this is that Pirates, which is the home team in this instance, needs to collect money at the gate, as opposed to playing at the Sam Nujoma Stadium where they will not be able to charge people as they would have gained entry already.

My question is: Why did the league authorities not schedule the BA/Pirates match for tonight (Friday), to give the players of both teams the chance to watch the women's national team in action on Saturday? Why should these two teams play on the same day when the national team is in action? Does the women's national team have a lower status than the Brave Warriors? And what makes the two teams so sure that they will get the mass support and the money from their fans if they move the match to such a far-flung venue? I understand that the NPL tried to convince the two teams to play tonight, but both refused, claiming that they would not attract enough support.

Now, who calls the shots in this instance? Is it the teams or the NPL? As I see this, the teams are calling the shots, because the NPL cannot put down its foot on where and when teams should play.

It is also strange why the media and the teams get fixture lists in the same week when matches are to be played.

This is only found in Namibia unfortunately.

Worldwide, fixtures of the entire season are issued at the start of the league and changes are only made in case of emergencies.

It is unacceptable for team bosses to influence the NPL authorities on where and when they want their matches to be scheduled.

The match between BA and Pirates means a lot for the fans of both teams, as there is fierce rivalry on the field and it could have been appropriate for the Sam Nujoma Stadium.

However, it is in conflict with the activities of the national team and the policy laid down by the Namibia Football Association (NFA) that there should be no major encounters on the same days when the national teams are playing.

Now, who is to be blamed now? Did the NPL check with the NFA if the derby can go ahead despite the day being dedicated to the national team or did the NPL just bow to the pressure of the teams to have the match at the Independence Stadium? The NFA, in a match between the Gladiators and Zimbabwe a few weeks ago, allowed SKW to practice while the match was in progress at the same venue.

That was swept under the carpet and no action was taken against that team, and now this tendency seems to have spilled over, allowing both Pirates and BA to do so, despite this being a league match.

It is a shame that the national women's team is not respected for their efforts to qualify for the Olympic Games.

There are no activities on tonight.

The BA/Pirates match could have been played today and leave Saturday to the national team to give people a chance to go in numbers to support the girls.

Simple as that.

One wonders now where to draw the line.

Is the NPL being manipulated by the teams or is the NFA too lenient to stamp authority on the importance of national team? If this situation continues, there will be no order, as anyone can now start to undermine the importance of national team matches.