Otniel Hembapu Windhoek-Just when all Namibians thought the storm is finally over at the Namibia Premier League (NPL), it has emerged that the country’s topflight football league is on the brink of losing both its sponsors MTC and FNB Namibia, as a result of NPL’s failure to meet certain contractual agreements. New Era Sport yesterday learnt through reliable sources that the NPL sponsorship agreement with telecommunications giant MTC and FNB Namibia is in serious limbo, after the league’s leadership failed to deliver on one of the promises agreed upon with the two sponsors when the initial sponsorship agreement was signed in October last year. It is understood that when the NPL signed the sponsorship agreement with MTC and FNB - which saw both entities coming on board with a combined sponsorship of N$20 million to resuscitate Namibian football - one of the conditions in the agreement was that the league would be given three months to secure sponsorship for the country’s First Division, in order to ensure a smooth process of relegation and promotional playoffs, takes place as normal. As per that agreement, according to close sources within the NPL executive, failure by the NPL to secure a sponsor for the First Division will then leave both sponsors with no choice but to declare their sponsorship null and void. The due date to that agreement was yesterday, January 24. Three NPL executives, who asked not to be named, revealed to New Era Sport that they recently received an email from the sponsors reminding the NPL leadership about the agreement and that the due date was about to lapse. “When we negotiated the sponsorship agreement, both sponsors raised concern about the fact that the First Division was not catered for in the NPL’s submitted budget and the sponsors also made it clear to us that their combined investment of N$20 million will be a waste in the absence of the First Division, because it would mean the league would be played in vain as there will be no promotions and relegation. So they (MTC and FNB) asked how many months we would need to secure a First Division sponsor and we informed them that three months would be enough to secure a sponsor. So all three parties then agreed on the three months and it was clearly included as a clause in the contract and that if we fail to find a sponsor within the agreed three months, the contract will automatically be null and invalid. “... That deadline is today (yesterday) and strangely our chairman still hasn’t communicated anything with the entire NPL executive. I doubt if he (the NPL chairman) has even replied to the sponsors email,” anonymously explained one of the executive members. As has become a worrying trend with the new NPL leadership; they do not bother attending to media enquiries, and efforts to get comment from NPL chairman Patrick Kauta proved futile as he did not reply to questions sent to him (also on his WhatsApp), nor did he answer his mobile phone. Meanwhile, NPL vice-chairman Kandas Paulinho pleaded ignorance when queried about the issue, saying he is not aware of such a clause in the contract, nor has he received communication from both sponsors to that effect. Mali Ngarizemo, also a member of the NPL executive, said he has not officially received such communication from sponsors but admitted that he heard about such an email sent by the sponsors, where they indicated that the league could lose it sponsorship should they fail to secure a sponsor for the First Division. “I also received a separate email from the league secretariat, informing us about the problem but not from the sponsors. Maybe they (the sponsors) chose to communicate directly with our chairman and not the entire executive committee. “I’m not aware of such a clause or condition, maybe it was our chairman who agreed to such a clause because we the other members are not aware at all. But the email I got from our secretariat speaks to that truth, we could lose our sponsors,” said Ngarizemo.
2018-01-25 10:19:19 7 months ago