WINDHOEK – As of late yesterday the commencement of activities in the beleaguered Namibia Premier League (NPL) hung in a serious balance and confusion reigned supreme due to uncertainty as to whether the league will officially start today as earlier announced, or not.
The heated saga between Gobabis-based club Young African and the NPL Executive Committee, which this week suspended Young African from all league activities for alleged player identify fraud and breaching the league’s constitution, could today escalate to new heights that might hinder the kick-off.
Young African chairman Marley Ngarizemo’s lawyers on Wednesday wrote to the league instructing them to reinstate the club with immediate effect and equally revoke their decision to ban the team from participating in league activities.
The lawyers equally demanded that the league responds to their instructions before end of business yesterday (Thursday), failure to do so will force the club and its lawyers to seek an urgent court interdict to halt the start of the league until all disciplinary proceedings against the club are resolved.
Should Young African succeed in obtaining an urgent court interdict, league proceedings could be thrown into total chaos. But the NPL leadership yesterday maintained that the league kick-off will proceed as planned and as earlier announced despite the ongoing muddle.
Speaking to New Era Sport yesterday, Ngarizemo yesterday vowed to explore all possible legal avenues to ensure justice is served to his club, which he claims was suspended unlawfully and by the wrong NPL organ.
“Article 13 of the NPL constitution, which deals with the suspension of members, clearly states that only Congress can suspend a member. The Executive Committee may, however, suspend a person connected with the member that seriously violates its obligations as a member or a person connected with a member with immediate effect. The suspension shall last until an Extraordinary Congress is convened. But in this particular case, we (Young African) were illegally suspended by the Executive Committee and not Congress, which is unlawful and they (Executive Committee) don’t have such power at all,” said Ngarizemo.
He continued: “We gave them until end of business today (yesterday) and we didn’t get any response from the league despite them having acknowledged receipt of our letter. So tomorrow morning (this morning) we will head to court to seek an urgent court interdict to stop the league from starting until our issue is resolved. They themselves (Executive Committee) know they have no grounds to suspend us. In fact, they misinterpreted their own rules by taking a decision that was beyond their powers as only Congress can make that decision. So tomorrow morning (today) we will be in court to seek an urgent intervention. We will not entertain decisions that were made to suit certain people’s agendas. If it’s something personal against me they should come out and say it, but looking for loopholes will not work. See you in court.”
Tigers threaten to
boycott league kick-off
In another ugly twist also late yesterday, Tigers FC were said to have taken a decision to boycott their opening fixture against newly promoted Okahandja United FC, claiming that they will not partake in that match until the ownership and status of the club are resolved with the NDF. Tigers earlier this week wrote to NPL chairman Patrick Kauta, airing their concerns around the legitimacy of Okahandja United FC and also pointing out how numerous clauses of the constitution were contravened by the NFA in promoting Okahandja United.