NPL, please get serious

10 June 2019 | Sports

JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA



I have observed with complete dismay that the nominations for the upcoming MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) awards seem to be a big joke.

It is reasonable that some of the people nominated for the awards are in it because of what they have achieved during this season but some names that came up were a surprise and a serious mistake.

In the past, journalists and coaches were approached to make a selection of who they believe deserves to be nominated.

Well, this year seems to be a different story because journalists were provided with information about the players that were nominated.

Yes, the claims when we questioned this were that we do not attend all the matches and we were therefore excluded from making nominations.

It is no secret that we do not attend all the matches due to the distances and places that these matches are played at.

We however have the knowledge and have seen most of these players play and the stats are also there.

I find it strange that the NPL would allow its executive committee to select players and exclude the journalists that constantly report about these matches.

How in the world is it possible that you do not have the NPL top eight winning coach and also a runner-up of the league as a candidate for coach of the season?

How is it possible that you nominate a coach who almost relegated a club and finished sixth with another club as the coach of the season candidate?

If that was the case about finishing sixth, I think then all the coaches who finished third, fourth and fifth also had the right to be shortlisted.

That is why I believe that this shortlisting of the candidates was not based on stats and accolades but mere favouritism.

It is sad that after so many years since Independence, we are struggling to get the simplest things right.

Our football needs to grow but it will be impossible to grow if we continue making simple mistakes at the highest order.

I am not saying that we are not all grateful that the NPL managed to run and successfully complete the 2018/19 season.

It is great that the league was active and it provided players with a salary to sustain their lives.

It was good that MTC and FNB came to the rescue of this league after a year of football drought due to a lack of sponsorship.

It is however this misinterpretation of important things such as the awards which taints the NPL as a disorganised house.

Let me remind you that the media are and will always be an important stakeholder towards Namibian football and sport in general.

It is the media that make sure that the league information is heard across all areas of this country.

It is the media that continue to promote players who ply their trade in the league on a weekly basis.

It is the media that publish previews to attract more fans to the stadiums.

That is why I find it disrespectful that we are excluded in some of the decision-making of the NPL.

It is very important that the league and us as the media maintain a healthy relationship because we need each other if we are to take the level of football in this country to greater heights.

There is a huge need to do things correctly if we want to reach the levels of other nations.



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