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Lesson for NPL from last season

Mon, 21 July 2014 02:47
by Timoteus Shihepo

The MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) finally came to end last week after Black Africa were presented with the trophy.
But looking back at the 2013/2014 NPL season was a troubled season that all football lovers wish will never happen again.
There was so much infighting, be it among referees, coaches or the players.
First was the outgoing Orlando Pirates coach Ali Akan who launched a scathing attack on referee Reinhold Malima for alleged biased officiating after his side played a goalless draw against Tura Magic.
Quoted in of the daily newspapers, Akan said “Every small contact the referee gives a free-kick to Tura Magic.
“Today this guy was just supporting Tura Magic. Tura Magic were playing with 14 players”.
He added that, “Today everybody could see that this referee is weak... he cannot handle the match, he’s not fit enough, mentally he is not ok”.
Most of the people just like in international football expected Akan to land in trouble with the football authorities for such  harsh words to the referee but to everyone’s surprise he was on the touchline the next game so as rest of the season. NPL failed its first task.
Then NPL allowed the League to run into the World Cup window . . . I mean who does that? . . . 2nd task failed.
Remember the April incident; it’s Wednesday, April 16 2014, and Orlando Pirates are playing their bitter rivals, African Stars in the second round of the NPL  stages.
Orlando Pirates’ duo Nicky Musambani and Brian Gurirab scores in the first half but 8 minutes before full time comes a defining moment for that game – and for Namibian football- the floodlights went off at the Sam Nujoma and that was the start of chaos for local football.
NPL ordered that the remaining minutes to be played but Stars wanted the whole match replayed. NPL failed to control this saga before it got out of hand and they failed to punish Stars for bringing the football league to a halt… 3rd task failed.
It was this season when African Stars and Civics’ match at the Sam Nujoma Stadium had to be delayed by close to an hour as the officials had to wait for one of the assistant referees – David Shaanika – to arrive from Tsandi in the Omusati Region . . . Fourth task failed.
The NPL told Black Africa (BA) that in their last game of the season they only needed to avoid a defeat against Tura Magic to be crowned champions. BA achieved that by drawing with Tura Magic but fans, media and players were kept in limbo as the Trophy never arrived at the stadium. For me that was the first time seeing a league champion celebrating without a trophy… Fifth task failed.
NPL then allowed Stars and Pirates to play the remaining eight minutes of the abandoned match after BA who were on top of the table ahead of Stars on two points that time finished their games already . . . A lot of things could have happened during the Stars, Pirates game which could have resulted in another saga . . . Sixth task failed…Such things should not happen again.
There are many incidents that happened during the past season and I can’t fit them all here but whatever happened I hope NPL learnt a lesson and they are already starting to put their house in order.