Friday’s letter from the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) has been received with mixed emotions by both the Namibia Football Association (NFA) and the expelled Namibia Premier League (NPL), with the NPL opposing the resolutions contained in the letter and the NFA saying they have moved on.
The NSC on Friday announced it had rejected the NPL’s application to set up a professional football league, saying the law only allows the NFA to be the sole custodian of all forms of domestic football activities within Namibia’s territory; therefore, the remaining NPL teams should rather join the envisaged NFA’s Namibia Premier Football League (NPFL).
The NSC also said the NFA should amend its constitution to ensure the new goes fully professional and operates as a separate entity away from the NFA, and that the NFA should also provide the NSC with a blueprint of the new league before February 2021.
In Friday’s letter, the NSC also said it is mandatory that the new NFA league moves fully away from being semi-professional to being professional before next February. The NSC further said the NFA should admit the other remaining NPL teams into the new league to allow all Namibians the opportunity to play football.
Reacting to the NSC letter, NPL chairman Patrick Kauta said Friday’s letter is “ambiguous, lacks timelines and provides no solution to the problems facing local football”.
He argued that the letter is contradicting the recommendations made by the Committee of Eminent Persons (CEP) a few weeks ago, which recommended that both NFA and NPL should seek peace talks and that there was no need for the NFA to start a new top tier league or the NPL to start a professional league.
Kauta also feels the NSC letter offers no real solutions, as it does not provides enforceable solutions and timelines. Kauta further said the CEP, in its recommendations, had found that the NPL was unfairly suspended and expelled, but Friday’s letter fails to address that.
“For instance, if we join the NFA league like they are saying, will we be allowed to make some constitutional inputs to the amendments they are talking about? Also, there are no clear timelines and deadlines to the proposals they are making. The letter is contradicting to all the good recommendations made by the CEP, so what was the need of the CEP if their recommendations are being implemented? It says nothing about unfair suspension, the CEP said there is no need for NFA to start a new league and that we should also not start a professional but we should seek reconciliation, but the NSC is now giving the NFA the go-ahead to start a new league and saying we should join that league. There are a lot of loopholes in that letter,” said a protesting Kauta.
Asked what the way forward for the NPL will be, Kauta said they have no choice but to seek further clarity from the NSC through the national appeals committee, which was installed this year by the sports minister Agnes Tjongarero.
“We will definitely launch an appeal with the appeal committee; there are so many questions that need answers. The NSC is not helping at all. We will definitely appeal their decisions,” said Kauta.
Reached for comment yesterday, NFA president Ranga Haikali said the NFA has moved on and is about to kick off with its new league; therefore, the NSC decision has little effects on them.
“We have moved on; the NPL was expelled and they accepted their expulsion. So, that is history. The CEP wrote to us and we responded accordingly to the recommendations they made. This coming Saturday, the NFA will hold its annual ordinary congress – and among the many issues to be discussed, there is the final touches to the new league, called the Namibia Premier Football League. As I said, we have moved on and the invitation to the other remaining clubs remains open until
Thursday or Friday morning because congress is on Saturday. Again, the other remaining clubs should follow the procedures to apply, as there is still room in the new league. As far as professionalising the new league, the NSC must understand that professionalising a football league is a process and not a one-day event, so we will engage and get there. We are currently busy finalising the blueprint for the new league and have been in constant talks with Fifa and UEFA to assist us in setting up the framework for new league. NPL is no longer our member and we are moving forward,” said Haikali.