With thirteen rounds of matches left to play in the country’s flagship football league, the Namibia Premier League (NPL) – early table toppers Black Africa FC sizeable lead cheesed off to four points.
After a somewhat sluggish start to their league campaign this term, reigning Namibian champions, African Stars are slowly closing on the log leaders and sits just four points off the pace as the race for the coveted league title hits the home stretch,
Wire Shipanga’s soldiers are now blowing hot and cold having been bundled out of the lucrative Standard Bank Top 8 Knockout Cup by eternal rivals Tigers in a highly charged ill-tempered semi final that saw the Gemengde outfit finish the 120-minutes marathon match with ten man following the first half dismissal of goalkeeper Kamayanda Ndisiro.
Almost a fortnight has passed without uttered from both the club (BA) and league authorities as to what action has been taken against the shot stopper who fell foul of the referee’s crime sheet for an off the ball incident.
His unprovoked dismissal caused his team a place in the final subsequently a hefty amount of moolah in the process. Given the severity of the offense, in any kind of proper structures, Ndisiro should have been officially charged for violent conduct with subsequent sanctions to be imposed.
Football is a gentleman game, a game of respect towards your opponent, match officials and ultimately your teammates. The hot head shot stopper gravely let his teammates down with his unbecoming behaviour.
Instead, club officials were seen confronting and trying to manhandle match officials after the final whistle following BA’s elimination via the much despised rotary of the dreaded penalty shootout, whilst the chief culprit, Ndisiro was going about his business unhindered.
The league should also not sit arms-folded – allowing such indiscipline and acts of violence to go unpunished – surely, it cannot be business as usual for the culprit to just be grounded through the customary one match suspension for receiving marching orders.
Football authorities, in this case, the NPL has a moral OBLIGATION to ensure that the game of football is not unnecessary brought into disrepute as a result of such antics by its subjects.
Eish and to rub salt into the wounds – the MTC Premiership champions-elect were deposited an awakening call going down 0-1 at the hands of the league’s new boys Okahandja United FC. That shock result saw BA’s comfortable seven point lead sliced down to four ahead of nearest title rivals “Starlie”.
Well, the league is a marathon and with some of the big guns in danger of losing their Premiership status, we can expect an adrenaline pumping final push as the league hits the home straight, but nonetheless, the author’s money is still on Wire’s youthful brigade to unseat the ambitious Reds.
At the other end of the log table, things are not looking exactly rosy for the trident of old time campaigners Orlando Pirates, Civics and Blue Waters. Barring a miracle, the city of Windhoek’s dominant representation in the country’s topflight football league – could be under threat.
Before signing off, yours truly would like to appeal to the league authorities to have a moment of silence observed in tribute to departed former Explorer Eleven FC midfielder Japhta “Pele” Goagoseb before the start of all league matches across the country.
NB: It should be noted football in this country was played way before Namibia attained democracy in 1990 – as stakeholders, we have a moral obligation to honour our heroes past and present. This gesture is an internationally accepted common practice. I rest my case.