Shooting From the Hip – Still Waiting for an Answer [column]

Namibian football authorities just never cease to amaze those who follow the game with keen interest, including yours truly. A quick hypothesis would speculate that many organizations, be it football or corporate businesses are primarily guided by standing rules and regulations.

Now, can the powers that be at the MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) headquarters please explain why football followers and the media – the news carriers – should be left to wait in the wings for ages for answers on simple issues.

Exactly seven days ago the much-anticipated MTC Premiership potential title decider between traditional rivals Orlando Pirates and African Stars ended prematurely after a power outage.

On face value, the Ghosts looked poised to record a rare league double over their old nemesis having taken a comfortable two-goal cushion and being in total control of proceedings until the divine intervention of darkness.

According to unconfirmed reports, there were seven minutes remaining when the entire Sam Nujoma Stadium was covered in darkness as a result of a power outage in adjacent residential areas – leaving match officials with no other option but to abandon the match.

FIFA rules are crystal clear in the event of an official football match being abbreviated because of external forces and unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather or power outage. How do the public react? The media comes under fire and severe criticism for keeping the paying customers in the dark while the affected teams are left to feel like a blind man in a darkroom.

NPL’s dismal failure or reluctance to issue an immediate press release on what measures will be taken after the abandonment of such a high-profile fixture is a recipe for failure and does not exactly augur well for good governance – let alone transparency.

Yours truly just can’t put his finger on why technocrats at the NPL headquarters should wait with bated breath to be first given directives by the league’s Management Committee (MC) when rules governing the game of football are neatly in place, unless the ducking officials are swimming in a pool of confusion regarding the interpretation of their own rules and statutes that govern their togetherness.

As much as football fans are fascinated by the spectacle that football brings to many, those calling the shots are not perfect self- governed individuals tumbling from situation to situation and if they want to be taken seriously they must forget about personal egos and pay close attention to the mood of the people and influence of the real custodians of the game – the clubs!

Football officials need to put an end to this self-serving bias and start putting their ducks in the row instead of always leaving themselves open for unwanted but more so, justified criticism.

In the meantime, consider yourself extremely lucky to have friends in the media who tell you the truth – no holds barred. Please tell the people what they want to hear or are entitled to hear.

There is absolutely no single reason why it should be left to the mercy of close-door discussions to make a ruling on the abandoned match. I rest my case.

Source : New Era