I was recently so disappointed by some of the top Namibia Premier League (NPL) clubs who took part in the league cup but seemed as though they were uninterested in participating in the competition.
These clubs are Black Africa, Tigers and African Stars. According to me, they didn’t show the nation, especially their fans and supporters, they were hungry for success.
All credits should go to the so-called ‘smaller clubs’ that lifted up to public expectations with Orlando Pirates, which is the only big club that really showed it means(t) business this term around. I would not be surprised if it became the eventual title contender this season, once the league starts next month.
Black Africa, Tigers and African Stars all recorded one win each and one draw from their opening in two games in their respective groups, only to lose out on a semi-final berth after second-place clubs in their respective groups all recorded a big margin score line of more than three goals that saw the under dogs proceeding to the semi-finals.
If these clubs were serious about the competition, why didn’t they turn up to see other clubs in the same group perform if they knew their business on the pitch was not a done deal? Or did these clubs think they were already through to the semis?
I know the league cup received some mixed feelings since its inception last year, due to its financial injection of N$50 000 to the winner and a N$10 000 to the clubs travelling outside Windhoek. But still, this cup needs to be respected as it is a pre-season tournament.
I even know some media houses and/or individuals who are not in support of the competition. Personally, it is the only way the NPL, with its limited resources, would be able to organise a tournament of its magnitude.
I would like NPL to punish these sides for not taking the cup seriously. If these clubs are no longer interested in taking part in future tournaments of this cup, they would tell the NPL so that a new format can be set up, like [probably] including runner-ups of the two-stream first divisions, respectively.
I also think since this cup does not really attract the public, perhaps the NPL should revisit its agenda and then take it closer to those in other towns, such as at the coast, Tsumeb, Rundu, Katima Mullilo and other towns, just to recover the money spent. I mean, I am very convinced people in those areas will come out in big numbers to watch the tournament.
I know someone might ask about accommodation; the answer is clear, Rundu Chiefs, United Star, Blue Waters, Blue Boys and Eleven Arrows are not from Windhoek but they had managed to be here to take part in the competition.
I said this in my previous article in this space; the poor attendance at the Sam Nujoma Stadium during the league cup is a shame. For this reason, I feel it was a waste of money because obviously, there was no gate fee made in the first and second rounds of the competition.
It was a good, however, for the NPL to move the semi-finals to the coast, although it was because of the boxing event at the Sam Nujoma Stadium. But I am nonetheless happy the games are not postponed in this case.
I will say this, over and over again; next time, the NPL should run a competition prior to the cup, just to add some excitement to it or simply invite a well-known music artist to perform at the event. It does not necessarily need to be the Dogg or Gazza. It could just be an affordable artist. I’m sure there are Namibian artists who would be willing to perform on a fairly deal, surely.
I rest my case.