Wednesday 12 May 2021
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Regional netball coaches unhappy with match officials at Newspaper Cup

While some regions where cheering and celebrating for advancing to the latter stages of the Namibian Netball newspapers cup, some regions where actually grieving due to poor match handlings.
Last Sunday 21 April, some coaches of the participating regions at this year’s annual Namibian Newspaper Cup that was held in Mariental, in particular those of netball, expressed their disappointment in the manner in which matches were officiated.
The regions that expressed unhapiness unhappy were Oshikoto, //Kharas, Kavango East, Zambezi, Kavango West and the Kunene region.
The coaches from the regions said that the referees and umpires were biased and were favouring Erongo, Khomas, Otjozondjupa and the Omaheke region.
The respected coaches also claimed that the referees and umpires did not follow the rules and regulations of netball.
This was netball’s second appearance at the Namibian Newspaper Cup after it was added last year by the organisers as a way of promoting the sport of netball at the grassroots level.
Maria Bernadino, coach of Kavango-West, who holds an umpiring qualification said that the umpires were not up to standard following her side’s loss in the quarter-finals to Kunene region with a score of 13-14.
“We lost most of our games because of them (umpires) being bias. They needed to bring fair and professional umpires to handle the tournament. Most of the decision taken by umpires were contradicting which worked out of our favor. And it has cost us our place in the tournament,” said Bernadino.
Bernadino further alleged that during their game with Omaheke on 20 April which they lost 17-16, all the officials were from Omaheke regions which raises some eyebrows. “I have never seen something like this before (all officials from one region),” added Bernadino. Hector Ilukeni, coach of Zambezi Region felt that his team was left out and mistreated after alleging that his side were provided with unqualified umpires to officiate their matches.
“Match officials used especially in Pool A were still grading, they were being tested here which was very risky in terms of sport growth because these people couldn’t get the right decisions. Next time this tournament takes place we plead to the organisers to hire professional umpires to officiate the games,” said Ilukeni,
Edeltraud Mupiri, coach of Kavango-East said although she is happy to see the inclusion of netball at the Newspaper Cup, she has however expressed dismay at the poor officiating at the tournament.
“The tournament was good and bad at the same time, firstly it was good seeing the sport being given the attention it has been missing, such a tournament helps the sport to grow from the grassroots level. I urge the tournament sponsors to bring qualified umpires. They can hire qualified officials to handle games because it’s seriously not a good platform for grading umpires to come and do their grading here,” said Mupiri.
Erongo Region were crowned champions of the netball division following their 45-28 win over Khomas on 22 April.
Kunene took third place after beating Omaheke region 34-33 in a tightly contested third place play-off match.

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