Owner of Gobabis-based football club Young African Mali Ngarizemo has described as “long and draining” the process of finally getting his club’s relegation overturned by the Namibia Football Association (NFA)’s Appeals Committee.
The NFA’s Appeals Committee on Tuesday ruled that the club pay a fine of N$100 000 to retain its status in the Namibia Premier League (NPL) and their verdict, the Committee further warned the club against repeating the offence.
Should Young African managed to pay the N$100 000 fine as ordered by the Appeals Committee, they will automatically retain their premiership status and be eligible to campaign in the country’s topflight league when football starts.
Young African were last year docked points and automatically relegated to the lower division by the NPL Disciplinary Committee after the club was found guilty of having fraudulently registered and fielded Zimbabwean import Tapiwa Musekiwa under a false name of Albert Mujikijera through the use of forged documents.
Upon being found guilty and relegated, the club moved on to appeal with the NFA Appeals Committee – and on Tuesday, the NFA ruled in their favour to have their relegation as earlier ruled by the NPL Disciplinary Committee replaced with a N$100 000 fine and a warning against a repeat offence.
Reacting to the NFA Appeals Committee latest judgment, Ngarizemo said the news is a huge relief to the club and its entire fans – and that retaining the club’s status in the NPL was always their biggest objective.
A thrilled Ngarizemo said attaining “justice” for the club has been a long and draining exercise for the club’s leadership but was a worthwhile endeavour.
“It was not easy getting here; finally getting the justice we have been demanding since day one. I must admit that it was a very long, draining and costly process for us, but it was worth it at the end of the day. I can say justice has been served and I would like to thank all those who believed and stood by the club’s side during that very difficult period. Now, the big thing is to pay the N$100 000 fine and get our status back in the NPL. I always believed that the laws of the game will eventually come to our aid and that’s why I followed the legal process from the start. I avoided getting personal with people. My fight was about getting justice for the club and getting the players back on the field. I have to say I’m happy with the verdict,” said Ngarizemo, who also doubles up as Young African head coach.
He added: “The NFA extra-ordinary congress is slated for this weekend and we all now await to hear what the way forward for Namibian football will be. Just like everyone, we will wait from the NFA – but in the meantime, us, as a club, will start working towards implementing the orders of the appeals committee verdict.”
Contacted for comment yesterday, NPL chairperson Patrick Kauta declined to comment on the appeal’s outcome – and, in short, said: “The NPL declines to comment on a brutum fulmen and remains unhindered.”