Having thoroughly read through the recommendations made by the Committee of Eminent Persons (CEP) to both the Namibia Football Association (NFA) and the expelled Namibia Premier League (NPL), I have to admit that I fully agree with 98% of all recommendations put forth.
For the NPL, the CEP said the league should consider withdrawing their case filed with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to allow for peace and give dialogue a chance. CEP also recommended that the NPL should consider deregistering the section 21 professional league and in addition, commit to fully subordinate themselves to the statutes and leadership of the NFA as the sole regulator of all forms of football in Namibia.
The CEP also recommended that the NPL review its statutes and all members/clubs to have an equal say and participation in decision making as it appears that only the league’s executive committee makes all the decisions, with little participation from the Board of Governors (BoG). Among the many recommendations, the CEP further recommended that the NPL and NFA should formalise their relationship by way of a Memorandum of Agreement or licensing agreement for the running of the premier and first division league.
For the NFA, the CEP advised that there is no need for the NFA to start another top tier league and there is equally no need for the NPL to move ahead with its section 21 professional league, as there is still room for both entities to mend their relationship, if both are willing to compromise for the greater good of Namibian football.
The CEP also found that the NFA’s executive committee and congress prematurely suspended and then subsequently expelled the NPL without having given the league an opportunity to state its case, which is against all principles of natural justice. CEP further found that the NFA did not have any legal organs in place to help remedy the situation between the two bodies and that further compounded the football impasse.
The committee also asked the NFA to clarify the disciplinary procedure when a member or affiliate is found wanting. The committee suggested that the NFA should consider amending Article 15 or add provisions that clearly indicate what happens when such a member (NPL) is suspended/expelled and cannot conduct any football business.
CEP also referred the NFA to a similar case between the Namibia Rugby Union and its affiliate the Namibia Rugby Limited, where all stakeholders involved in the fights were reconciled through talks, rather than in court.
All the above recommendations again speak to what I have been saying all along in this very column. I have since day one been calling for dialogue between NFA president Ranga Haikali and NPL chairman Patrick Kauta and at one point I was questioning the need or necessity of the NFA starting its own top tier league and also equally asked how will the NPL run a successful professional league without having a working relationship with the NFA because it will be impossible.
These are all questions I constantly asked in many of my writings, but guess what? Many shortsighted chance-takers who continue to masquerade as “football gurus” accused me of siding with the NFA and then later ironically turned around and started accusing me of siding with the NPL.
The problem here, and I said it before, is the people surrounding Haikali and Kauta. The people surrounding both Haikali and Kauta are there to serve their own selfish interests and will go to whatever extend to make sure that both Kauta and Haikali remain enemies and the Namibian football remains stuck.
I personally have on many occasions had the privilege of interacting with both Haikali and Kauta, and I can assure all Namibians that both gentlemen possess the required quality, knowledge and acumen to solve our football problems but like I said, the desperate hangers-on who have made the NFA Football House in Katutura their camping grounds searching for jobs and favours and those that continue to frequent Kauta’s office will not allow the two gentlemen an opportunity to sit together and apply their own judgements.
Why? Because they (the desperate hangers-on) fear that if both Kauta and Haikali decide to make certain compromises and manage to reach a mutually beneficial agreement for football to start, their selfish interests will go down the drain.
I have been watching from the stands and I know what I’m talking about. Both Kauta and Haikali can easily sit down over lunch and solve this problem in one day, but those around them will not allow that. They will spread fake stories and all kinds of lies just so the two gentlemen don’t meet and find solutions.
But here is my humble advice to both Kauta and Haikali, this is another God-send opportunity for the two of you to salvage our football and save the dreams of thousands of young Namibians. Forget about the many indifferences and past infightings between the NFA and NPL, but rather focus on the one or two little things you both have in common that can help us all start football. Move out of your caves and make use of the middle grounds being provided by the CEP to start a new chapter. Without external influence, I know the two of you can resolve this issue. Let’s get to work and let’s get our boys back on the field. Until next time, sharp sharp!!!