Premier League double-headers bad for football: Coaches

20 Jan 2016 20:00pm
WINDHOEK, 20 JAN (NAMPA) - Black Africa Football Club coach Woody Jacobs said double-header games in the Namibia Premier League (NPL) can kill football playersÂ’ careers.
He said this during a media conference that was held in the capital on Wednesday to announce the live broadcast of the Black Africa and Citizens match on Saturday at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.
“I am not a club owner and it has been said in the past by club owners that double-headers help cut costs, so what else can we do. Even our secretary-general of Namibian football (Barry Rukoro) once said double-headers helped the national senior football team qualify for the African Nations Cup.
“But nowhere in the world would you find teams in top leagues playing two games a weekend. The International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) rules stipulate that a player should rest for at least 72 hours before playing another game,” he said.
Jacobs added that playing two games within 48 hours kill the game of football, and coaches will always fail to get the best out of their players in two matches played over two days.
“You know when our SG says that the national senior football team qualified for the Nations Cup while our league played double-headers, he needs to explain how many local-based players were in that (national) team. This always rages me and the SG should leave technical things about the game to us.
“When we qualified for the Nations Cup in 1998 and 2008 the players were mostly foreign-based and we just had a handful of players who played their game at home. These players who were based at home never even made half of the starting 11. Credit should be given to those players who came from their international clubs and played well because they had enough rest,” said the coach.
Jacobs indicated that if clubs continue playing two games a weekend small clubs will never win a premier league title and will always struggle throughout the season on relegation battle or just end up mid-table.
“We are killing football players’ careers because in Namibia our players always finish their careers at the age of 28. How can one’s body play so many games in the heat and be expected to perform when they are about 35 years old. I’m not the one spending money, but we need a solution to this issue.
“One thing that we should know is when playing double-headers a team will be required to have a big pool of players, and how will small teams afford to pay for more than 30 players to rotate on a weekly basis. This means small budgets will never win NPL titles in this league,” he stressed.
Speaking at the same occasion, Citizens Football Club Chairperson Dawid Goagoseb said double-headers have their good and bad.
“If we play double-headers it’s good to save money when we are travelling, but on the other side it’s bad because teams don’t get the best out of their players and that affects the quality of the football displayed, and teams end up losing because players are not well rested,” he said.