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JJD quits 'toxic' NPL

THE turmoil plaguing Namibian soccer deepened on Wednesday with the surprise resignation of under-fire Namibia Premier League chair Johnny Johnson Doëseb.
Doëseb, who was in the final year of his last league chairpersonship term, apparently succumbed to incessant pressure from several leading NPL clubs who recently called for his resignation, blaming the business mogul for the beleaguered top-flight's failure to secure investors, which saw the country's premier division grounding to a halt in June 2016.

He cited “tribalism and backstabbing” as his primary reasons for quitting the position he's held since 2008.

“I cannot continue to work in such a toxic environment. This has become too personal,” Doëseb told The Namibian.

“In the interests of football in this country, I'm stepping down. If I'm the culprit, then let me step aside and allow others who can do better to take over.”

The search for Doëseb's successor begins this weekend when the NPL will hold an extra-ordinary general meeting.

“The resignation of Mr Doëseb necessitated the management committee to convene a very urgent board of governors' (BOG) meeting at which the BOG will discuss the unceremonious resignation of Mr Doëseb as chairman of the NPL,” the league's spokesperson Cassius Moetie said.

Central to Doëseb's departure is the failure to secure substantive sponsors who would enable the top flight to belatedly kick off its 2016-17 season. He said the never-ending NPL saga had put a strain on his family life, and that he had an image to uphold as an entrepreneur.

“It's been almost nine months that this has been going on. Imagine what my family is going through. I'm a father and a husband. Every day, there are negative things being said, as if I'm a criminal. It has become a thing of character assassination instead of finding solutions to the problem,” Doëseb stated.

Despite being driven out by his one-time allies, he said he held no grudges. His resignation was the culmination of pressure from disgruntled clubs and football enthusiasts who have pushed for his - and that of the Namibia Football Association hierarchy's – removal from office after MTC ended its sponsorship of the NPL, effectively 'killing' the beautiful game domestically.

The former Eleven Arrows chairman, who believes his efforts to revamp the NPL were sabotaged by his detractors from the outset, said the rest of football's leadership needed to heed the call for change.

“They have to do the same [resign] as I did. It's the same people who were with me for all these years. As long as we keep fighting each other, then football will not go anywhere in this country,” he said.

“If they failed to do it over the last eight years, then how will they make any meaningful changes now? They were criticising, and not helping. Let them do it [find sponsors] and show the nation they can take football forward. I'm out of the way now,” said Doëseb.

  • Title: JJD quits 'toxic' NPL
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  • Date: 8:51 PM
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