Jacobs Questions NPL Decision

AFRICAN Stars coach Woody Jacobs has expressed dismay over the decision of the Namibia Premier League to replay the final eight minutes of their abandoned match against Orlando Pirates, saying he had never seen this done before.

“Ive been in football for quite some time and this is a first for me. In our league it has never been done and it seems as if football played on the farm is much better organised than the football that is played here in town. Even in town when the light is not sufficient and visibility is a problem, normally people tend to play those matches over,” he said.

Stars’ match against Pirates on 16 April was abandoned eight minutes from time when the floodlights failed and the NPL subsequently ruled that the final eight minutes of the match will have to be replayed on 6 May. It is now virtually certain that Pirates will win the match since they were leading 2-0 when the match was abandoned.

FIFA’s rules are not too clear regarding this and according to FIFA’s ‘Laws of the Game’, ‘an abandoned match is replayed unless the competition rules provide otherwise.’

According to a media release issued by the NPL on 24 April, the management committee took a resolution ‘as per NFA Rules and Regulations 10.6 and 10,12’ that the remaining minutes of the match be completed.

Jacobs hinted that Stars could still contest the ruling.

“I think this is not just a first for African Stars and Pirates, but this will also set a precedent for Namibian football. I’m not convinced that they took the right decision but it’s up to my club bosses to decide on that. But if I need to aise them I’ll tell them that we need to appeal this decision, because there is no football match where you can expect the spectators to come and watch an eight-minute match,” he said.

Jacobs added that there was a conflict of interest since some of the NPL management committee members had vested interests in other NPL clubs.

“I think there was a conflict of interest, because if you look at the NPL’s management committee, they consist of people who are representing teams that have a stake in the league’s outcome. There is a million dollars at stake, so how can they make a decision of that nature,” he said.

“I think a reasonable leadership will say, let’s be fair because FIFA is all about Fair Play and let’s play the game over. We were not at our best that night, but maybe God will give us a second chance so that if Pirates beat us convincingly, then we will know that we are beaten. But the match in itself was never finished,” he concluded.

Source : The Namibian