• September 21st, 2020

‘Football will only be played next year’ …NC meets with NPL clubs

WINDHOEK – Although members of the Fifa-appointed Normalisation Committee (NC) were not forthcoming with information on the suspended MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL), when queried about Tuesday’s meeting with clubs affiliated, New Era Sport has it on good authority that Tuesday’s meeting made it clear to all clubs that there won’t be any football played this year.

On Tuesday, the NC held a meeting with clubs plying their trade in the NPL to discuss the way forward for the suspended league and what the future holds for local footballers, who have been waiting in the wings for a positive response from those in football leadership but it appears the future looks gloom.

New Era Sport yesterday made several attempts to get an update from the NC’s chairperson Hilda Basson-Namudjebo on what were some of the resolutions and suggestions put forward at Tuesday’s meeting, but her phone went unanswered and nor did she respond to messages sent.

But further digging from our sources and multiple club chairpersons who attended Tuesday’s meeting, it came forth that Tuesday’s gathering made it clear to all clubs in attendance that the likelihood of football being played this year is close to zero – be it at premier league or lower division level.

According to one of our sources, a veteran football administrator and club owner who spoke on condition anonymity, the NC felt that the NPL’s ambitions of wanting to start the league on 1 November is far-fetched and off mark because the players registration and transfer window already closed on 27 September and so far only one club has registered its players. 

The second registration and transfer window for Namibian football only opens on 1 January 2020 and runs until 31 January 2020.

Additionally, our source said, the NC also wanted to know from the clubs in attendance why their directive of no promotion/relegation could not be implemented, while also making it clear to them that the suspension of the NPL will not be lifted until Namibian football has normalised across the board.
The only clubs that were absent from Tuesday’s meeting are Blue Waters, Young Brazilians and Eleven Arrows, but the rest of the team were all invited and present at the gathering including demoted Young African FC, New Era Sport was informed.

It is understood that a total of eight clubs namely Tigers, Julinho Sporting, Mighty Gunners, Citizens, Orlando Pirates, Civics and Young African demanded that all directives of the NC be implemented, including the no promotion/relegation directive to the NPL.

On the way forward for the suspended NPL, the clubs suggested that the league’s executive committee continue engaging the NC and for both parties to find a mutual solution to the blockade currently holding Namibian football in dormancy.

Some clubs also suggested that the NC in collaboration with the NPL organise a mini league which will be contested by previously relegated Rundu Chiefs, Chief Santos and Young Chiefs as well as Pirates and Civics in order to determine the teams to be promoted for the new season.

Demoted Young African also suggested that the NC get legal advice on their pending appeal, as the Namibia Football Association (NFA) currently has no Appeals Committee in place to hear the matter on an urgent basis.

“So when you look at all these complexities and challenges our football faces, it seems unlikely to play football this year, and the NC also made that clear to the clubs on Tuesday. My understanding is also that only one club have registered their players and the others did not due to the uncertainty we faced and continue to face. So, how does one even start a league where only one club has registered players? To be quite honest with you my brother, Namibians should not expect football to be played this year. Maybe next year we might see the return of football, but definitely not this year,” said the passionate administrator.

Otniel Hembapu
2019-10-17 07:28:20 | 11 months ago

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