• February 28th, 2020

Defiant clubs fling mud on NPL’s  pre-season plans …as sponsor remains skeptical 



Otniel Hembapu

WINDHOEK – Reigning Namibia Premier League (NPL) champions Black Africa Football Club leads a group of clubs that have intensified their defiance with the leadership of the suspended NPL, after the league’s top-brass on Friday wrote to all member clubs instructing them to get started with pre-season activities.
In a letter dated 24 January 2020, NPL chief executive officer Harald Fulle wrote to inform the league’s remaining 13 member clubs of recent “fruitful and constructive discussions” with both the league’s main sponsors (MTC and FNB) and according to Fulle, the proposition presented to both MTC and FNB was centered around a value-based proposal that will be of great benefit to all football stakeholders, including players and clubs.
“I believe that this exciting endeavor will have far-reaching benefits and extensive commercial exposure to all NPL clubs. The benefits extend to the Brave Warriors as it embarks qualifying for the Fifa World Cup, Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and African Nations Championship (Chan)…the details of the Championship are contained in a comprehensive 35-page document we intent to share more details at the next Board of Governors (BoG) meeting, which is planned in Windhoek at the Safari Court Hotel in two weeks’ time…In the meantime, I write importantly to call on all our current members to commence with preseason preparations including teams training, as the envisaged Championship is intended to kick-off in the first weekend of March 2020.”
“In addition, you are requested to register all your respective club players with the NPL offices (league secretary) on or before 20 February 2020, no registration will be allowed after this date. Please be further reminded that at Congress, on 26 September 2020, in accordance with Article 12 of the NPL constitution, resolved that membership subscription fees in the sum of N$50 000 be paid,” reads the NPL’s letter.
But it appears the NPL’s request for clubs to get started with pre-season activities has hit the brick wall, as a group of nine clubs – led by defending champions Black Africa – have all defied the league’s request and collectively insist that they will not comply with any directives nor be part of any league activities until the NPL’s suspension has officially been lifted by the Namibia Football Association (NFA). 
The nine clubs, which consist of Black Africa, Tigers, Citizens, Julinho Sporting, Mighty Gunners, Blue Waters as well as Orlando Pirates, Civics and Young African, also wrote to the league on Friday wherein they cemented their strong stance as far as their membership rights and privileges are concerned.
The pair of Pirates, Civics both await on the NFA’s directive to be implemented by the NPL which will see them being reinstated into the country’s flagship league, while Young African’s reinstatement on the other hand lies with the awaited final decision of the NFA’s Appeals Committee. In the clubs letter, they pointed out that; “We the undersigned clubs would like to put it on record that as bona-fide members of the NPL and substantive BoG members did not authorise you as CEO of the league, the NPL chairperson neither the NPL executive committee as a collective to negotiate with the league sponsors to convert the sponsorship agreement into a tournament sponsorship…the sponsorship agreement also states under Article 17.4 that MTC shall have the option to terminate this agreement should the number of clubs or the competitions be changed without MTC’s prior written consent. We again place it on record that the undersigned clubs shall not participate in any league competition and tournament while the NPL is suspended by the NFA.” Approached for comment yesterday, MTC’s chief human capital and corporate affairs officer Tim Ekandjo confirmed that a meeting recently took place with the league’s leadership and a proposition was made by the NPL and MTC is yet to respond to that request. “All I can confirm is that NPL had a meeting with MTC and we have committed to giving them feedback on their proposal in due course,” briefly said an unrevealing Ekandjo. But a reliable source within the MTC management team disclosed to this author that the NPL’s request will likely not receive the desired attention as the telecommunications giant is not prepared to pump money into a dormant entity, whose future prospects remain gloomy.
“I can’t speak on record at the moment, but what I can assure you is that MTC will not put any more money into a suspended entity, especially given the ever unpromising atmosphere currently prevailing the local football scene. That will be reckless, but let’s wait and see,” he said.


Otniel Hembapu
2020-01-28 09:12:59 | 1 months ago

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