Dust far from settled in NPL sponsorship saga… league unlikely to start soon

WINDHOEK, 10 October 2015 - Action between Khomas NamPol defender Movatauooveange Ikeinge (in yellow) and Viseete Chissano of Ramblers during round one of the 2015/16 Southern Stream First Division at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in the capital. (Photo by: Hesron Kapanga) NAMPA

Carlos Kambaekwa

Windhoek-Almost a fortnight has passed and the brouhaha that ensued amidst the Namibia Premier League (NPL) chairperson Johnny ‘JJD’ Doeseb’s acrimonious departure appears to have gone the inevitable path of the dinosaur.

As it stands, the prospect of action getting underway in the country’s flagship football league looks a distant likelihood, from the pretence that was so loosely advocated that as soon as Doeseb vacates office, potential sponsors would come on board to bail out the serially cash-strapped NPL.

Local football pundits are still puzzled as to why the league’s previous principal sponsor, MTC, summarily pulled out of further negotiations after the league’s failure to solicit the required N$9 million shortfall to make up the submitted budget of N$24 million.

It was reported that the newly appointed NPL ad hoc committee would engage MTC to activate negotiations as the league seeks to convince the mobile telecommunications giant to release the N$15 million sponsorship.

The newly appointed NPL Interim Committee has been given the unenviable task of finding a sponsor for the league to start its operations and make sure the NPL holds its much anticipated elective meeting within the next six months, surely an insurmountable task.

To worsen matters, the real custodians of the financially crippled football league, the clubs, are as low on financial means as church mice since they have been heavily dependent on the monthly grant from MTC.

The current status quo has obliged some clubs to close shop, albeit temporarily in the hope that the league would find a suitable sponsor soon.

The affected clubs are now staring an exodus of their playing personnel in the face as the players are obliged by current circumstances to seek greener pastures elsewhere if they are to keep hunger and the repo man at bay.

New Era Sport is in possession of the NPL revised budget of N$18 million that was tabled to MTC after the latter requested the league to do so.

It was revealed that both parties have agreed to the amended budget and only the dotting of the i’s and crossing of the t’s remains before the deal is signed, sealed and delivered.

One football pundit has fired a salvo at MTC, accusing the company of holding football hostage.

“It’s really puzzling as to why MTC is still dilly-dallying after the very same institution requested the league hierarchy to downsize its initial budget of N$24 million,” charged the outspoken football critic who requested his identity be withheld for fear of reprisals.

However, others opine that MTC should not be held responsible for the current mess in which the country’s flagship league finds itself and urge the league hierarchy to start looking elsewhere.

“MTC is not the only company operating a business in Namibia – we have hopelessly too many foreign business entities making massive profits from local consumers.

“It’s incumbent upon the league authorities to approach these companies to come on board and plough back their profits derived from locals,” one observer says.

“There are piles of South African companies that do business here and yet they are reluctant to donate their profits for a good cause – this is unacceptable, there’s an urgent need for our government to start introducing hard and fast rules that would oblige these foreign-owned companies to put their money where their mouths are.”

He adds that it will only be through legislation that these foreign companies would contribute towards the growth of Namibian citizens.


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