So, the annual MTC Namibia Premiership Sports Awards have been concluded to bring an end to a season that was dominated by controversy, court cases, suspensions and the conveniently tailored misinterpretation of rules rather than for its football prowess.
The NPL flagship event left a sting in the tail with murmurs of discontent over the yet to be clarified nomination criteria – leaving football heavyweights questioning and rightfully so, the required criteria applied by those entrusted with the task of identifying deserving candidates.
At the centre of the storm is the impudent omission of Civics and Brave Warriors’ tigerish midfielder Wangu-Batista Gome, who had a stellar season for the Civilians, which culminated in a call up to the national senior football team.
The tireless hardworking pocket-size midfielder underlined his value in domestic football with a five-star performance and played a pivotal role in the Warriors historic triumph at the just-ended Cosafa Cup in South Africa.
The Rundu-born box-to-box midfielder was overwhelmingly and deservedly voted best player in the highly competitive 12-nation regional tournament.
Football pundits question the rationale behind the nomination of both Lucky Kakuva and Bobby Samaria in the plum category of coach for the year award at the expense of Ronnie Kanalelo (BA) and Tura Magic’s Timo Tjongarero, whose respective teams finished above Tigers and FNB Orlando Pirates.
African Stars outspoken executive member Siggy Mujoro-Veii joined the chorus of discord saying the most prestigious accolade, the revered Chairman Award, should never be given to players who have lost out on the annual awards as a token gesture.
“It goes beyond any comprehension as to why the two recipients Denzil (Hoaseb) and Fox (Nambundunga) were awarded while they had ample opportunity like any other candidates to lay their hands on the awards. That award should be reserved not for competitive athletes and administrators outside the scope of nominees – that’s the bottom line”.
NPL chief administrator Tovey Hoebeb cleared the air over the nomination of the newly introduced four categories, namely best defender, midfielder, best goalkeeper and finds of the season awards.
“These awards were proposed by the Players Union and it was their prerogative to choose their preferred candidates, so NPL had absolutely no input into the selection process.”
Quizzed as to whether such practice would not have the potential to compromise the union’s impartiality, Lolo Goraseb did admit the error of judgment but was quick to put the blame squarely on the shoulders of time limits.
“Everything was done haphazardly but we are confident the mistakes will be rectified in future dealings,” said the former Brave Warriors stylish midfielder.