…as MTC NPL kicks of today
The league drought in the country is finally over with the return of the MTC Namibia Premier League kick-starting today at the Sam Nujoma Stadium. MTC and FNB have come to the rescue of the league that has been in intensive care for almost two years The partners committed to fork out N$20 million annually with MTC bringing in N$15 million and FNB resting a N$5 million over three years. The sponsorship does not cover for the first division.
In the opening game, Orlando Pirates will battle it out with Africa Stars.
This was announced at the launch of the league this week in the capital. The league has on two other occasions announced tentative dates to kick start the season but both dates were not honoured. The leadership then were sent back to the drawing boards to shelve their differences and get their house in order.
This led to the establishment of a newly elected leadership under Chairman Patrick Kauta. The third tentative date set was 13 October which was later postponed to today. All is set and ready for Namibian soccer fans to rally behind their favourite clubs starting today.
Of the 16 team set to compete, Black Africa, Tigers and Orlando Pirates, prior to the launch have threatened not to take part in the league, citing lack of adequate time to get ready and other irregularities that fell short of football logic.
At the launch, the league chairman said all is set and ready to bring football back again. Kauta praised the two sponsors who came to the rescue of football besides the dirty waters it has crawled through.
The sponsorship will cover N$65 000 monthly grant for clubs for ten months and N$2.5 million in price monies. Allegations of finance mismanagement has strike the league house in the past and the new chairperson has guaranteed the sponsors that every cent will be accounted for.
“Rest assured that we do not intend to use any of your funding for purposes that it has not been budgeted for,” said Kauta.
Responding to the three clubs rebelling against the league kick off, Kauta said their argument is devoid of any football sense and remains confident that all 16 clubs will be taking part.
With the adoption of the constitution and the rules of the NPL on 23 August 2017, the executive resolved to look for sponsorship for the league to start. The current executive was criticized for setting a date without sponsorship. According to Kauta, the rational for this was to enable all 16 clubs to be prepared by the announced date.
“So to those who say they had no time – every club was informed on 6 September that the league will start on 13 October.
That is almost six weeks,” said Kauta adding that the time for boardroom differences is over.
“Join the party. If you do not do that, the bus is leaving on the 20th [today]. The bus is not going to wait for you.”
“I do not envisage that there will be clubs that will not turn up because for one; if they don’t, the rules will take care of them. If a club does not turn up it makes itself guilty of two things – not honouring the game but also bringing the game into disrepute. And also, if a club does not wish to turn up, then they would have informed the league 7 days ago and they have not done that yet.”
In attempt to get comments from the three clubs, this journalist has been referred from one man to another, all playing away from duty. The Patriot Sport contact Black Africa’s Cassius Moeti in an attempt to get the club’s position towards the league and he referred this publication to Tigers’ Lukas Nanyemba as the spokesperson of the ‘group’. Upon contacting Nanyemba, who said he was out the country, he said he cannot speak on behalf of other clubs and that he is not spokesperson of Tigers.
There have been concerns in regard the state of the stadiums at which the 240 games will be played countrywide.
Kauta said that he was well aware of the situation and that they will do with what they have and correct the rest as they go.
MTC’s Tim Ekandjo welcomed the tones of transparence and good governance of the sponsorship saying that the two will not compromise on the issues.
“To the new leadership, all we need from you is transparency, accountability and zero tolerance to corrupt spending.
If MTC and FNB understands that there is corrupt spending, I can assure you that they will be gone,” said Ekandjo.