Rukoro warns against congested fixtures

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Carlos Kambaekwa

Windhoek

With the Namibia Premier League (NPL) Interim Management Committee having announced their decision to kick-start league activities in May this year, a large segment of the local football fraternity is not entirely impressed with the NPL’s decision to kick off the league without providing clarity on how they arrived at such resolution.

The NPL Interim Management Committee issued a statement to all its sixteen affiliates that the league will start on May 12 and run until November this year.

In that same statement, the NPL leadership also expressed serious concerns over the scheduling of the round of 32 of the Debmarine Cup and thus requested the Namibia Football Association (NFA) to delay the start of the round of 32 to give clubs sufficient time to prepare and put their houses in order.

And to the contrary, NFA secretary general Barry Rukoro says the association has not been officially informed about the NPL’s request but expresses the hope that both parties will reach an amicable agreement in the best interest of football.

“From an administrative point of view and as per agreement with the international football committees, we will run the risk of finishing the season outside its parameters. If one takes international engagements and a congested football calendar into consideration, we are likely to be faced with a scenario where we have to finish the league within four months,” said Rukoro.

Rukoro adds that this could place enormous pressure on sizeable aspects of the game, such as infrastructure, and lead to a possible players’ burnout.

“We must just hope and trust they will come up with a sustainable method and resources. With marathon matches awaiting the Brave Warriors this year, a congested football fixture could potentially derail progress,” he says.

Namibia will participate in international competitions on three fronts starting with Afcon, CHAN qualifiers and the annual regional Cosafa Cup.

Also adding his voice to ongoing affairs in local football, Touch and Go Football Club strongman Jefta /Goab expressed his concern especially over the scheduling of the Debmarine Cup.

The articulate football administrator says the request from the NPL interim committee leadership to postpone the Debmarine Cup is totally uncalled for as it demonstrates an element of selfishness.

“It’s a one-sided request only looking at the interest of NPL teams. We know the disguise behind this request, which doesn’t hold water. It should be noted that we are all in the same predicament.”

“We are also affiliates to NPL – maybe they deliberately forgot or just decided to turn a blind eye. What do these guys think about the teams that have already played in the opening rounds?” he added.

/Goab remains steadfast the competition should go ahead with or without the NPL teams, claiming his stablemates are trying to keep the competition hostage.
He also took issue with what he termed the premature announcement of the league’s kick-off without providing a hint about its new sponsors.

“We are committing the same mistake time and again and yet expect different results – what hypocrisy is that!” fumed /Goab.

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