Namibia’s participation in international football is hanging on a thread should the country’s flagship league, the Namibia Premier League (NPL), fail to get out of the starting blocks, says NFA president Frans Mbidi.
He was responding to questions from New Era Sport in Oshakati recently where he was asked to shed light on the future of the national senior football team in the absence of league activities.
The man at the helm of the NFA was quick to point out that although NPL is an autonomous body, its inactivity will negatively affect the national team.
“It’s a sad story and of course the Brave Warriors will be negatively affected should the league fail to start. Our league is the main feeder of the national team and without an active league footballers would be unfit to compete at the desired level,” charged Mbidi.
He, however, added that the NFA is contemplating putting all international participation on hold should NPL fail to secure the much-needed N$24 million for the league to start.
Mbidi reassured the nation that Namibia will not be penalised as a result of the NPL inactivity since it will not be registered to compete in any FIFA-sanctioned competitions.
A country can only be penalised if it fails to take part in the competition after registration and since Namibia has not registered for any internationals the status quo remains.
“Nevertheless, should this happen, Namibia will fall out of the FIFA and CAF rankings, a scenario that will not be good for domestic football since it would be extremely difficult to climb the ladder once the country re-enters the fray.
“I can tell you we are in the middle of a crisis but I am optimistic all is not lost yet – I still believe and hope there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Mbidi appealed to the corporate world to come on board and assist football with the much needed cash injection required for the league to kick off.
“Just recently we concluded the second and first division promotion playoffs and hope the two leagues will start very soon,” said Mbidi.