Already plagued by legal battles and an endless war of words, events in the country’s besieged football fraternity took another startling twist after eight clubs declared their intensions to resign from the suspended Namibia Premier League (NPL) and form a breakaway league.
Five NPL clubs, namely Tigers, Blue Waters, Citizens, Mighty Gunners, and Julinho Sporting all merged forces to petition the Namibia Football Association (NFA) expressing their consternation about the current state of football and how the health of the NPL is deteriorating.
The five league clubs were joined by relegated Orlando Pirates, Young African and Civics in writing a five-page letter to the NFA.
The trio of Pirates, Young African and Civics were relegated last season from NPL but a directive by the outgoing Fifa-appointed Normalisation Committee instructed the NPL to reinstate all three clubs on a once-off basis because of the unique situation currently faced by Namibian football, where no First or Second Division leagues are active.
The eight clubs in total wrote to NFA acting secretary general Franco Cosmos seeking the association’s guarantee and absolute assurance that they will be accommodated in an event they resign from the beleaguered NPL and start a breakaway league.
Among the many reasons raised in the letter to the FA, the eight clubs complained about the league’s finances, lack of unity, maladministration and ceaseless infighting as some of the reasons they are contemplating to establish a rebel premier league that will subscribe and be affiliated to the NFA.
The clubs maintained that if the ongoing headlock between the NPL and its mother body NFA is not amicably resolved to the interest of the players, they [clubs] will then be forced to part ways with the NPL and form a breakaway league that will address the plight of footballers that want to play and earn a living.
In the letter, the eight clubs indicated that once the breakaway league is formed, other distressed clubs that are eager to start football are also welcome to join them, provided they resign from the existing structures of the NPL.
Contacted for comment yesterday, NFA president Ranga Haikali confirmed that they did receive the letter from the eight clubs and will look into it. He again maintained that the NPL following the NFA’s directive to reinstate all three relegated clubs, as part of the new season is the only way football would kick off in Namibia.
“As we have been saying, if the NPL agrees to our directive, football will start and if not, than the answer is obvious. If it gets to the point where no solution is found between the NPL and NFA, we will look into the letter and call up a meeting with all 16 NPL clubs and ask, who are those that want to play organised football and who are those that still want to continue defying our directives. If more than half of the clubs agree at that meeting they want to play organised football under the NFA and not bush football, then as an association we will strongly consider giving those that want to play organised football with the rest of the world a chance to organise themselves and play. So it’s very much possible we might consider such a move,” said Haikali.
NPL chief executive officer Harald Fuelle yesterday said: “The NPL cannot comment on something that was not addressed to the NPL.”