Awkward moments

15 July 2019 | Sports

The past weeks have been a serious rollercoaster ride for football fans. First, Namibia didn't make it out of their group at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt.

There were moments where we could have taken the lead in our group matches, but we didn't do that. We ended up losing close clashes against Morocco and South Africa, before being hammered by Ivory Coast. It was once again a story of what could have been. It was awkward and a tad disappointing, to say the least.

We then turned our attention to Bafana Bafana, because of the fact that they are our neighbours and friends. But they too were then eliminated from Afcon 2019 by Nigeria in their quarterfinal, after scrapping through as one of the four best third-place finishers in at the group stage and shocking hosts Egypt in the round-of-16.

Losing surely does leave a bad taste in one's mouth. Since the Brave Warriors are now done with international competitions, for now, attention has shifted towards home and that troublesome stepchild, the Namibia Premier League (NPL).

The thing is, our football problems are just awkward.

Awkward is best defined as embarrassing, uncomfortable, delicate, ticklish, tricky, sensitive or perplexing. It's like this: You know what the problem is, but then you also don't know what the problem is. That does sound perplexing.

The league ended, and of course there should have been excitement or disappointment, as clubs prepare for the new season, with some having to pull up their socks after being relegated to the first division.

But of course this will not happen, because there were no first or second division leagues played during the 2018/19 season. Fifa then decided to endorse its normalisation committee's decision not to promote or relegate teams after the past season, because according to them, no sporting merit exists that determines a first division club's participation in the NPL.

I understand the endorsement. It makes sense; because who then should be promoted if nobody kicked a ball? It's a stalemate… it's awkward.

No relegations and promotions; fine. Let the NPL regroup and come back with serious, concrete plans on how it can improve.

But what about the hopes and dreams of first division footballers and their clubs? What about inspiration and aspiration, and climbing the ladder of success. They have once again been robbed of this.

The NPL cannot exist day-to-day or weekend-to-weekend, it has to have administrators who have a sound knowledge of what should happen, and when it should happen.

Because look, we are dealing with players' livelihoods here; this is a serious delay in their progress. Come to think of it, it's probably more than awkward… it's embarrassing. Some serious socks have to be pulled up!



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