In whatever business we embark upon, success will always be measured by results and not through well articulated programmes such as in the case of football.
Can somebody please be bold enough and tell yours truly in detail what the country’s football authorities want to achieve with their sudden flirtation with youth football.
As much as we appreciate the NFA’s well meant intentions, yours truly was tempted to revisit a certain clause in the FIFA statutes which clearly stipulates that clubs should organize themselves into a league and then affiliate to the mother body – certainly not the other way round.
I foresee an unhealthy trend in our football structures where the mother body is trying to have too much say in the day-to-day running of various leagues, whereas its mandate is strictly to oversee the running of football in the country.
In fact, I was quite surprised by the Chief Administrator of the Sports Commission’s claim that he is unaware of the schools league that is currently in full swing alongside the same lines as the newly established Under-17 league under the auspices of the NFA.
Now my question is – what is the purpose of the National Schools Sports Union’s togetherness if youngsters under the age of seventeen are playing competitive football under a different umbrella?
Don’t get me wrong – the idea of youth structures is much appreciated but it is the manner in which some people go about their business that worries me a bit – because in all honesty, one strongly feels that somebody is encroaching sacred territory or either way somebody is not doing their job properly, period!
Given our small pool of footballers, one cannot be faulted for taking it for granted that the players who turn out for their respective clubs in the Under-17 league will be the very same players trotting out for their respective school teams and this scenario could potentially contribute to players’ burnout if not carefully monitored.
Dwindling Crowds a Sorry State
It was quite disheartening to watch a set of 22 players dishing out one of the best football displays on Namibian soil in a very long time in front of empty stands.
The eagerly awaited MTC Namibia Premiership midweek encounter between Tigers and SKW had all the ingredients of a thriller – judging from the fact that the outcome would shape the race for the coveted league title with no less than eight teams still in the hunt for the elusive league title.
Ode to the players and their technical staff who went ahead by conducting their business in a very professional manner despite the match being played in torrential rain for the better part of the 90 minutes.
Players like Marco van Wyk, Patrick Jagger and Jacky Stephanus (SKW), Neville Nanub, Knowledge Ipinge and Lubingisa Lubingisa (Tigers) showed maturity and talent way beyond the norm and the small band of the paying public who dared to attend certainly got value for their money, because the football was absolutely something out of the top drawer.
It goes beyond any imagination to notice that a big team like Tigers, playing at home for that matter, was outnumbered by SKW on the stands in their own backyard – that’s unacceptable and clubs should start doing some soul-searching and put up structures in place to attract more supporters to their home games.
Football is all about excitement and players always lift their game when playing in front of big and noisy crowds and unless football officials jack up their act in terms of marketing skills – the game is destined for the dogs.
Take a leaf out of Civics, African Stars, Orlando Pirates, Black Africa, and to some extent Ramblers’ books – these clubs are regularly mobilizing their supporters because without the fans, football will be a boring affair. I rest my case.