Premier league start delayed
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10 August 2018 Author   Michael Uugwanga
The start of the 2018/19 Namibia Premier League (NPL) season will only be determined once the North-West Stream and North-East Stream first division leagues are completed, league Chief Administrator,
Josua Tovey //Hoëbeb has said.
The league was initially set to start on 14 September.
The North-East Stream is expected to complete its round of matches this weekend with the first leg of the play offs set for the following weekend.
The North-West Stream, however, still has about three weeks to go before the play-offs which are played on a home and away basis.
Each team in the two streams is required to play 10 matches and so far teams in the North-East Stream have all played nine matches before this weekend’s fixtures, while teams in the North-West Stream have played between five and seven league matches.
The North-East Stream plans to hold its play-offs matches next weekend, while no date has been set for the play-offs in the North-West Stream.
The two streams were put on hold for a month in June due to the unavailability of funds from the NFA.
T
he Namibia Football Association (NFA) is funding the first divisions this season unlike in the past where they used to be included in the sponsorship package from MTC, who are the main sponsor of the NPL.
The Southern Stream First Division is the only league in the first division that finished on time with Young Brazilians already declared champions after beating Blue Boys 3-1 in the play-offs.
//Hoëbeb told the Windhoek Observer this week that the starting date for the 2018/19 season will only be confirmed after the completion of the first division.
“You know that the first division has not yet finished. The league might start in September,” //Hoëbeb said.
North-East Stream Chairperson, Shaya Mupiri, said they plan to finalise the league in less than two weeks’ time.
Just like in the Southern Stream First Division, teams in the two streams are paired in groups with the top teams in each group meeting in the play-offs to determine a winner.
North-West Stream Chairperson, Laurence Kandundu, said the league is likely to be concluded before the end of August.
“The play-offs are likely to take place in three or four weeks’ time,” Kandundu said.
In the North-East Stream, Ntunguru FC is topping Pool A with 16 points, followed by Black Hawks with 14 points and United Stars on 12 points.
Pool B is headed by Julinho Sporting with 22 points, followed by Oshikango Chiefs with 14 points.
The North-West Stream Pool A is headed by Military School on 13 points from seven matches, followed by Eleven Warriors with 11 points.
Golden Bees are in third place also with 11 points from seven matches played.
Three teams in Pool B are level on nine points each.
African Motto top the group because of their superior goal difference of +3 from five games compared to second place team, K.K Palace, with a goal difference of +0 from six matches.
Third placed team, UNAM Ongongo, have a goal difference of -1 from five matches.
Touch and GO in fourth place have seven points from five league matches and fifth placed team, African Lion, have four points from five matches.
Meanwhile, a survey conducted by the Windhoek Observer shows that most NPL teams have not started with their pre-season training because of the uncertainty surrounding the start of the new season.
Citizens started with training two weeks ago before they stopped after they heard that the league will be delayed.
Former league champions, Black Africa, have not yet started with training, while their arch rival, Orlando Pirates, started training at the end of June.
Costal side, Eleven Arrows, have also started training as they are preparing to tour Botswana later this month as part of their pre-season preparations.
Defending champions, African Stars, have also not started with training as they are still searching for a training ground.
They were due to start training on Monday, but their base, the Sam Nujoma Stadium, was unavailable because it is being prepared to host the MTC music bash on Saturday.
North-East Stream weekend fixtures:
Saturday, 11 August
Black Hawks  vs  Eastern Chiefs, Ntunguru  vs  Kangweru Black Tops, United Stars  vs  Bingo, Cuca Tops  vs  Julinho Sporting, Oshikango Chiefs  vs  K.K United and  Benfica  vs  Young Rangers.
North-West Stream weekend fixtures:
Saturday, 11 August
Golden Bees vs Young Stars, Militiray School vs Onambula United,Ongwediva City vs Elev Warriors, African Lions vs UNAM Ongongo, Touch and GO vs African Motto.
Sunday, 12 August
Touch and GO vs UNAM Ongongo, African Lions vs. African Motto, Military School vs. Young Stars and Golden Bees vs Onambula United.
 
 

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