NPL under fire over pitch conditions

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Windhoek

MTC Premiership campaigners coastal giants Blue Waters launched a scathing attack on the hierarchy of the country’s flagship football league, the Namibia Premier League (NPL), accusing league officials of shortsightedness and being inconsiderate.

At the centre of the storm is the NPL’s sickening persistence on rescheduling league matches to midday at the unpopular Astroturf Sam Nujoma Stadium, notwithstanding the searing heat that has engulfed most parts of Namibia in the last couple of weeks.

Blue Waters’ long serving team manager Tostao Imbili, is a bitter man and lashed out at league authorities for turning a blind eye to the club’s request to have matches moved to other fields with conducive playing surfaces with natural grass.

We are lucky there are no league matches this weekend, because of the international break, otherwise we were going to have a catastrophe on our hands. “As we speak, we are mired in a Catch 22 situation, because a significant chunk of our playing personnel are grounded, nursing an assortment of blisters on their feet – which resulted from playing at the Astroturf pitch under extremely warm weather conditions, Imbili charged.

Fellow seasiders Eleven Arrows, also find themselves in the same boat, with some of the club’s players having fallen victim to the deplorable pitch conditions. “We filed a formal request to the league to have our matches shifted to other suitable venues, but up to this day, we are yet to received any response in that regard,” says Arrows official Killa Samaria.

NPL administrator Tovey Hoebeb shot down the claims, denying that the league received any written request or verbal communication from the aggrieved clubs. “We are aware of the problem, but it’s totally out of our hands. The crux of the matter is there are no other fields available around the city of Windhoek, because both suitable venues, Ramblers and SKW, are maximised.”

Hoebeb added that these fields are fully occupied with marathon matches, ranging from the youth academies, league matches from the lower leagues, and other social events: “The only solution is to engage the City of Windhoek to speed up the process of rehabilitating the floodlights at the candle-lit Sam Nujoma stadium. We hope to have this problem solved in the not so distant future.”

Blasts-Foot

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