NPL and clubs have failed to fill stadiums: Mbidi

08 Dec 2014 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 08 DEC (NAMPA) – Newly-elected Namibia Football Association (NFA) president Frans Mbidi says the Namibia Premier League (NPL) and its clubs have failed to fill stadiums during matches.
Speaking to Nampa on Monday, he expressed shock at the almost empty Sam Nujoma Stadium which he witnessed on Sunday during some NPL games there.
Mbidi, who was elected as the new NFA leader here on Saturday during the football body's ordinary congress, said the NPL and its clubs are doing an injustice to the league's main sponsor, Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC).
“If this trend of having empty stadiums continues, then we will not have sponsors for football in this country,” he said, adding that he does not want such situations during his leadership.
“We would like to have sponsors queuing up to have a bite of Namibian football,” said the new NFA president.
He stated that during his leadership, the association’s executive committee will see to it that the football crowds fill the stadiums.
“We want people back to the stadiums, and to believe in Namibian football,” he noted.
Mbidi stressed that from now on, the executive will be strict with club licensing.
“We are going to regulate that for a club to play at NPL level, it must comply with club licensing, and we are going to be strict with that,” he stated, adding that briefcase-run clubs must come to an end.
Furthermore, Mbidi expressed dissatisfaction with the level of the fitness of players at club level.
“We are going to engage the NPL to ensure that we improve the level of fitness and professionalism in football,” he stated.
During his term, Namibian football must also have professionals, and not still be working towards professionalism.
Moreover, Mbidi said he is also going to ensure women's leagues in every region as his short-term objective.
“We want to find balance in the selection of our ladies when there are competitions to compete in,” he noted, adding that he does not only want to see Namibia qualify for the African Women's championship in Cameroon in 2016, but also winning it on foreign soil.
Mbidi was elected unopposed on Saturday after his opponent, Black Africa Football Club owner Ranga Haikali walked out of the venue just before the election process.
He replaced long-serving NFA president John Muinjo, and assumed office immediately after his election.