Players, stand up for your rights

Michael Uugwanga

OUR footballers need to be reminded that they are the ones being affected by the ongoing infighting between the Namibia Football Association (NFA) and Namibia Premier League (NPL) and not the administrators or sponsors.

I am very disappointed that none of the local players have had the guts to stand up and rally behind the Namibia Football Players Union (NFPU) by supporting a petition to have the league start, or to remove those sabotaging the league from starting, regardless of the current situation between the NFA and the NPL.

Our players need to take ownership of their product and that is to play football on the field of play and not to play football inside their hearts or brains, because at the end of the day they are the ones facing the consequences.

From my side, I am so disappointed that the NFA hardly wants to comment on the situation that is affecting football, especially the NPL as these are the same players that will represent Namibia at the 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament in April, and not in January as usual.

On the other hand, I doubt whether the NFA or the Brave Warriors coaching staff are aware that about four players that are eligible to play at the CHAN will be expected to play professional football in South Africa and Belgium, once the football transfers window re-opens in January 2020, as some of these players already abroad to participate in trials.

Namibians should not be surprised if they happen to see some of their favourite local players not included in the CHAN team once they start with training ahead of the tournament, while on the other hand the clubs should start informing Bobby Samaria about players that have gone for trials abroad so that Samaria starts to look for possible replacements.

Mr Patrick Kauta as chairman of the NPL, please can you just do the honourable thing and allow Orlando Pirates and Civics to play in the league, even though according to the NPL tables the two clubs were officially demoted to the lower divisions.

On the other hand, I blame the NFA for not having informed FIFA that the NFA does not have money to fund the first division games in order to end this conflict, because FIFA gives money to all associations around the globe to fund lower divisions, women’s football, junior national teams and both male and female national teams.

I remember well when the NFA acting general secretary Franco Cosmos during the court case last month saying that football will start early next year after the case was dismissed by the High Court, but this seems likely not to happen because clubs (with the exception of one or two) are not training due to uncertainty about the start of the NPL.

Or did Cosmos perhaps refer to the start of the Debmarine/NFA Cup?

In conclusion, I am calling on all local players to stand up for their rights and to fight for their daily bread because without an active league, at the end of the day the players will end up as losers, while those in leadership positions will continue to get fat cheques every month-end.