• April 4th, 2020

NFA finally appoints Appeal Committee…Young African case soon to be heard

Otniel Hembapu

WINDHOEK – After months of uncertainty, the Namibia Football Association (NFA) has finally moved to appoint a substantive Appeal Committee for the association.
Top of the newly installed committee’s agenda would be to attend to the pending matter of demoted Gobabis-based outfit Young Africa Football Club, New Era Sport has established.
Young African were demoted to the country’s first division in January last year after the Namibia Premier League (NPL) disciplinary committee found the club guilty of registering and then fielding Zimbabwean import Tapiwa Simon Musekiwa using a fake passport during the 28th out of the club’s 30 league matches during that season. The NPL found that Musekiwa was deceitfully registered under the name Albert Mujikijera.
Following their demotion, Young African approached the Windhoek High Court where they launched an urgent application seeking interim relief to have the club reinstated into the country flagship league but their attempts to seek relief from the High Court failed as their application was struck off the roll on technicalities.
The club’s chairperson Mali Ngarizemo then moved on to seek refuge at Football House in Katutura but the NFA was found wanting as the association was at the time operating on autopilot and had no legal structures in place, including the all-important Appeal Committee.
But the Fifa-appointed Normalisation Committee for the NFA has since moved proceedings and operations at Football House into gear and recently appointed a substantive Appeal Committee, which will be headed by veteran lawyer Clement Daniels as chairperson.
New Era Sport has established that Daniels will be deputised by renowned lawyer Esmeralda Katjaerua as vice chairperson, with Peter Wilson and Apollos Shimakeleni being the other members of the four-member committee.
In a letter dated 29 January, which this publication has also seen, vice-chairperson of the Normalisation Committee Franco Cosmos wrote to the leadership of Young African informing them of the appointment of an Appeal Committee for the NFA.
In the letter to the club’s management, Cosmos said; “Your urgent letter dated l9 December 20l9 refers. Chairman, please accept our apologies for the delayed reply. Our Office was closed from 13 December 2019 – 6 January 2020.
The NFA acknowledge receipt of your letter and hereby confirm the appointment of the Appeal Committee at the 15th NFA Extraordinary Congress held on the 9th November 20l9 at Am Weinberg Hotel in Windhoek. A roundtable meeting is scheduled for 4th February 2020, l7h00 between the Fifa Normalization Committee and the Appeal Committee to pave the way forward on the appeal matter. Thanking you for your usual understanding.”
Contacted for comment yesterday, Ngarizemo expressed delight with the latest development and thanked the Normalization Committee for “acting with the urgency and promptness the issues desire.”
“It has been almost over a year now that we have been waiting for an appeal committee to be appointed. As the saying goes, justice delayed is justice denied and that’s how it left at one point because no one gave us a chance to properly state our case. So, I really want to thank the Normalization Committee for this very important move, which at the end of the day is in the best interest of football. The way the matter was handled at NPL level speaks for itself and that’s why I always say we were not treated fairly. But it shows that the Normalization Committee understands and appreciates the importance of having this committee in place and we as a club can only say thank you to them. Our lawyers have been hard at work on the sidelines guiding and advising us, so I’m very confident of a positive outcome for the greater good of our club and football in general. Our fans should remain calm and hopeful as they have been over the last months, as a positive outcome should be coming our way,” said a pleased Ngarizemo.

Otniel Hembapu
2020-01-31 09:15:03 | 2 months ago

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