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Second division soccer league in financial mess

Mon, 26 September 2016 15:30
by Rodney Pienaar

The Regional Second Division Football League (RSDFL) is financially unstable as teams that take part in the league are forced to secure their own funds to take part in the league.
RSDFL is played in all 14 regions of the country and winners of the league are promoted to the northern and southern first division league respectively with dreams to take part in the Namibia Premier League (NPL) once the teams manage to secure the top position in the league. But teams that take part in the league are facing financial challenges and this has affected the growth of the league, The Villager found.
The league, which is also known as the bush league, has seen teams failing to take part in away league games as transport cost as well as accommodation cost are to be covered by the teams’ management.  Most teams fall apart without fulfilling their obligations to the league due to financial instability, The Villager found.
Speaking to The Villager the chairperson of the northern regional leagues, Gerhardus Steenkamp, said the funding issue is not new to the league as it has been experienced for years.
“The league is undermined by the sports commission because they don’t fund the teams in the league at all. We are surviving on our own cost and some teams do not take part in away games that are played just because of funds. This issue has been brought up several times with the major bodies. Even referees sometimes find it difficult to show up at matches as they have to use their own money and be refunded when they claim the money, which of cause take a while,” Steenkamp said.
He added that the sports commissions does very little when it comes to the first and second division football leagues, which have most teams from the northern and southern parts of the country. Most people interested in soccer tried to build teams to take part in the league but due to funds need for team management the teams broke apart.
However the league in question has seen few teams drop out due to poor performance, which is prompted by not showing up at away games caused by financial constrains as teams have to utilize their own transport and provide meals for players of the teams as well, The Villager found.
Some of the teams even arrive late at the particular pitches were games are to be played resulting in being penalised for not showing up on time, which results in giving winning points to the team that showed up on time at the pitch
“The fact of the matter about this league is once you missed out on a game than you lose points, even though your team might be winning the teams every time they play a match a match physically. Once the team does not show or is not at the pitch for the game than points are given to the team that they were supposed to compete with and its one of the reasons why soccer in the country is poor as most talented players are from the regions where this league is played,” Steenkamp said.
He added that some of the players even go to the extent of moving from their respective teams to teams that are financially stabled in order to be part of the game of soccer.
However teams that took part in the RSDFL have a long way to take apart in the top soccer leagues of the country as the league is taking baby steps to grow into a fully fledge league The Villager found.