Mbidi demands Debmarine Cup clarity from NPL

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Otniel Hembapu

Windhoek-President of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) Frans Mbidi yesterday strongly condemned some NPL clubs that have threatened not to participate in the round-of-32 of the Debmarine Namibia Cup.

Mbidi was reacting to a recent New Era Sport report that revealed almost half of the clubs plying their trade in the beleaguered Namibia Premier League (NPL) were up in arms.

They have threatened to boycott the round-of-32 of the Debmarine Cup if the league is not up and running by then.

According to the majority of the clubs that spoke to New Era Sport, they will only participate in the Debmarine Cup on one condition, and that is if the NPL is functional.

The reason for their planned boycott of the Debmarine Cup is what they regard as foreseeable financial and contractual complications.

Many of the clubs feel that it will not make sense to contract a group of about 30 players for the Debmarine Cup, and then struggle again to honour those contracts once the Debmarine Cup is over, since none of the NPL clubs currently have any source of income.

In reaction, Mbidi admitted that he was aware of the planned boycott by some of the clubs, but demanded that the NPL’s leadership should communicate with the NFA in writing and make their position clear.

“I’m aware of that, but the NPL is affiliated to the NFA, and therefore has a moral obligation to write to the NFA so that we (the NFA) know where we stand as far as the clubs threats so we can hopefully plan the way forward.

“As an affiliate of the NFA, the NPL has certain obligations towards the NFA, which means they should fulfil those obligations, and the clubs’ participation in the Debmarine Cup is no exception.

“But like I indicated, they (the NPL) should make it official and put it in writing because otherwise it is just speculation and clubs threatening to boycott through newspaper reports. We want to know where we stand,” Mbidi said.

The elimination rounds of the Debmarine Cup for the first and second divisions teams started early this month and while other stream divisions already completed their elimination round fixtures, others only concluded theirs recently.

With the conclusion of the various elimination rounds, action now moves to the round-of-32, which will include all 16 NPL clubs and the various regional winners that progressed from the elimination phase.

But whether or not the round-of-32 of the Debmarine Cup will be a smooth ride remains to be seen as most NPL clubs have threatened not to honour their fixtures.

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