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Home / An open challenge to football authorities...revise league format as a matter of commonsense

An open challenge to football authorities...revise league format as a matter of commonsense

2021-02-26  Carlos Kambaekwa

An open challenge to football authorities...revise league format as a matter of commonsense
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Nearing a two year self imposed hiatus from playing competitive club football and the long awaited Namibia Football Association (NFA)-organised Namibia Premier Football League (NPFL) yet to get off the ground, it’s now time to reflect as it cannot be business as usual given the prevailing economic challenges, worsened by our geographic layout.

When one envisages starting a new venture, it cannot be executed in the same old style and modalities around its existence. Yours truly has long been a vocal critic of a sixteen team Superleague considering our pocket size population. 

It goes beyond any comprehension how a country like Namibia can have the same number of countries like South Africa, Zambia, Angola and Zimbabwe whose populace completely outnumbers ours, relegating us to the status of dwarfs in the game, so to
speak.

The other burning issue that many football administrators are turning a blind eye on the gravely unbalanced regional representation. A national football league should reflect our geographic layout.

Thirty years into democracy, no representatives from the football crazy great Zambezi region while the South, Kunene, North, East are constantly made to be satisfied with sporadic cameo roles in the national league setup.

Teams from the commercial capital Windhoek, are enjoying unfair advantage over their opponents from outside town in many aspects of the game, such as travelling, recovery breaks in between matches, expenditure an exercise which places an unsustainable financial burden on their well being, ultimately stirring bankruptcy in the face.

The quartet of Blue Waters, Eleven Arrows (Walvis Bay), Mighty Gunners and Life Fighters (Otjiwarongo) suffered relegation to the lower tier leagues at different intervals, whereas their city counterparts have made the league their permanent residence without much worries of losing their premiership status. 

Have we ever wondered and asked ourselves why teams from outside the capital are struggling to make ends meet in our August league? Well, the answer is simple, the playing field is unleveled and as long as we continue with the same league format, the status quo would remain intact, lest drastic measures get
affected.

My humble advice to my learned colleagues in blue suits at Football House is to scrap the unsustainable methodology to determine national league
champions. Demarcate teams in separate Conference leagues whereupon the top two teams from each region fight it out in a mini league to determine the overall league winners. 

This is nothing new, big nations such as Nigeria, DRC and Brazil are prime examples while teams in England’s lower division are also zoned to avoid fixture congestion and unnecessary players worn out.

Can we imagine teams from the Zambezi region travelling by road to honour league fixtures in Luderitz or a club from Oshakati undertaking the energy sapping marathon road journey to Karasburg. That’s absolute madness tantamount to inhuman treatment, totally impractical. I rest my case.


2021-02-26  Carlos Kambaekwa

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