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Normalisation Committee bus about to leave…as clubs sign letters of commitment

2022-08-31  Otniel Hembapu

Normalisation Committee bus about to leave…as clubs sign letters of commitment

Monday’s meeting between the Fifa-appointed Normalisation Committee for the Namibia Football Association (NFA) and all 16 local football clubs resulted in contrasting outcomes, with one faction agreeing to the immediate start of activities while the other resorted to picketing. 

The Normalisation Committee on Monday called for an urgent meeting with clubs affiliated with the Namibia Premier League (NPL) and with those associated with the Namibia Premier Football League (NPFL), where pertinent issues such as sponsorship, unity amongst clubs and proposed 2022/23 season league dates were discussed. 

Recently, the Normalisation Committee had a successful engagement with the Fifa Development Team, which resulted in the NFA being offered the opportunity to apply for funding for all local leagues through the FIFA Forward Programme.

With the prospects of the FIFA Forward Programme application coming as a lifeline for local football, the Normalisation Committee thus needed the written commitment of all local football clubs and pledges that they will be willing and ready to start football once and when FIFA Forward Programme funds are secured. 

The Fifa Development Team, which will review the NFA’s application for funding, will sit on 8 September 2022, and therefore the Normalisation Committee was under pressure to submit its funding application along with letters of commitment from all clubs by yesterday. 

Monday’s meeting was aimed at exactly putting all those aspects in place ahead of yesterday’s submission deadline. The meeting was held in two separate sessions, first with the NPFL member clubs and then later with the NPL clubs. 

The NPFL member clubs meeting was marred by chaos, as various clubs’ chairpersons felt that the future of local football and all other related matters should not be discussed with the involvement of the NPL, as it is not an NFA affiliate. 

The NPFL session failed to reach a consensus on almost all proposals made by the Normalisation Committee, which left the Normalisation Committee chairperson Bisey Uirab and fellow committee members with no option but to cut the meeting short as disorder continued unabated. 

“The initial meeting, attended by clubs resorting under the NPFL, did not proceed. During the chairperson’s opening remarks, certain representatives aired their perceived concerns, including the wish for one meeting with all representatives. After a back and forth, the chairperson called for a five minutes adjournment. Upon reconvening the meeting, similar challenges resurfaced, with the result that in the end, the meeting was adjourned completely,” Uirab shared with the media. 

After the atmosphere was calm within the corridors of Football House, the Normalisation Committee embarked upon the second session of the meeting with the NPL member clubs, which Uirab described as smooth and productive, with all inputs provided by the NPL clubs aimed at starting football in the shortest period. 

Uirab added: “The second meeting proceeded, the presentation outlining the proposal to commence the top tier league was well received, inputs to the commitment letter were provided and the same letter was dispatched to all clubs for their acceptance and return before 11h00 on 30 August 2022 [yesterday]. The Normalisation Committee remains committed to addressing critical challenges that continue to haunt the Namibian football fraternity and will endeavour to keep you informed as we proceed.”


Backs against the wall 

But as of late yesterday, New Era Sport was reliably informed that some NPFL clubs had refused to sign the commitment letters as requested by the Normalisation Committee to possibly secure funding from the FIFA Forward Programme. 

The protesting clubs, which failed to provide input or any roadmap at Monday’s meeting, are unhappy with the Normalisation Committee’s attitude towards the NPL, which they feel is a nonentity and, therefore, all NPL inputs should be disregarded. 

The clubs are purportedly of the opinion that the Normalisation Committee should only be engaging them and not the NPL. 

It is also said that some of the clubs are considering taking the legal route against the Normalisation Committee to have their grievances heard.  


2022-08-31  Otniel Hembapu

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