NPFL considers crowd greenlight

Namibia Premier Football League (NPFL) director Mabos Vries says it is their wish to allow football spectators into the stadiums as soon as they can.

19 May 2021 | Sports

JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

WINDHOEK

The Namibia Premier Football League is weighing its options on whether to allow some spectators into the stadiums after the end of May.

As it stands, government regulations allow only 100 people per gathering under the coronavirus state of emergency rules.

Empty stadiums during matches have become the norm worldwide to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Namibia’s transitional league, which kicked off in April, has been no exception.

NPFL director Mabos Vries has however hinted at allowing a few spectators, provided that the next state of emergency address eases some of the restrictions.

“We were looking at getting fans into the stadium because we know about the important role they play.

“It still is difficult at the moment to allow them in with only 100 people allowed per gathering.

“The moment you say a 100 people can come, you might have 200 at the gate or even more and that is why we need to find ways to handle this matter in a manner that will not create any overcrowding or stampede at the stadiums.

“We will however consider the fans once the gatherings are increased to 200 people,” Vries said.

“I believe the head of state is due to give another address at the end of this month and that will indicate the way forward for us,” Vries added.

Missing adrenaline

For many footballers, playing without spectators was something beyond their wildest dreams.

It has however become something that they have to live with, but something they hope will pass.

The fans are described as the extra adrenaline the players need and an electric atmosphere a football match needs.

The absence of football fans might have given some clubs and football nations an odd advantage given that they do to not have to play to a hostile atmosphere.

Brave Warriors and Civics midfielder Marcel Papama however still feels odd without playing with the presence of spectators.

“Well, we are happy that football is back but playing without spectators is just not the same anymore.

“We play football because we love it but we also play football to entertain those who love it but can’t play.

“That is why we miss having the faithful around and we hope to have them here when football resumes,” Papama said.

In England, around 10 000 fans per match have been given the greenlight to watch the last premier league games on their home ground.

Namibian football fans hope the same will happen in Namibia.

“I am really looking forward to be back at the stadium and watch my team Black Africa play.

“We are lucky that Namibia Media Holdings was able to show the first round’s matches live.

“I however still miss being at the stadium and cheering for the boys because that is what football is about,” said Cecil Stevens, a Black Africa fan.

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