16 Sep 2016 14:40pm
WINDHOEK, 16 SEP (NAMPA) Namibia Premier League (NPL) football players have called on local companies to come on board and help resuscitate the ailing league.
At a media briefing in the capital on Thursday, the players under the banner of the Namibia Football Players Union (NFPU) pleaded with the Namibian Government and the private sector to come on board as sponsors of the NPL 2016-2017 season, which was scheduled to commence this coming weekend.
National team captain and African Stars midfielder Ronald 'Stigga' Katjijere, who is also the second vice president of NFPU, called on Namibians to come together and rescue football in the country.
We are in a crisis, we call on the government and corporate companies to come on board and sponsor the league so that we can have football again. We are employees in this industry, we need to be compensated for what we do.
Some of the players do not have anything else to do besides playing football. If the league does not resume, there may be consequences, which will affect at least 350 players and their families, he said.
Katjijere went on to say that football players are breadwinners and football in other countries is now a multi-billion dollar business that takes care of millions of people.
His view was echoed by African Stars player Atlast Musasa, who said if the league does not resume, many players will find themselves on the streets.
Some of these players may end up getting engaged in criminal activities, which will not be good. Companies can sponsor the league or individual clubs so that they can help us solve this crisis, he added.
The General Secretary of NFPU, Olsen Kahiriri said this is the time for football stakeholders to put aside their differences and come together to deal with the lack of sponsorship.
The Namibia Football Association, Namibia Premier League, NFPU and other football-loving Namibians must come together to petition government on this situation which we find ourselves in. Where is the minister of sport in this crisis? What has he said or done to try and address this? asked Kahiriri.
The NPL found itself without a sponsor following the end of a sponsorship contract by Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) last month. MTC had earlier indicated that they were willing to continue sponsoring the NPL for another three years with an annual injection of N.dollars 15 million, on the condition that the NPL sources a further N.dollars 9 million to supplement the budget. MTC wanted the budget supplemented, as they feared that the NPL always ran the league on a deficit, which led to them covering the extra costs when the need arose.