WINDHOEK – Local football enthusiasts should brace themselves for weeks and probably months of nothing but boardroom circus at the Namibia Football Association (NFA) Football House in Katutura, this after the Fifa-appointed Normalisation Committee announced yesterday that the relegation of teams by the Namibia Premier League (NPL) last season will not be recognised.
In a press statement released yesterday, the Normalisation Committee for NFA, said based on Fifa advice communicated to them on 27 June, they were instructed that due to the First and Second Division Leagues that were inactive in the 2018/19 season and therefore led to the non-promotion and relegation of teams in those two lower leagues, Fifa said: “There should be no promotion or relegation among the three leagues”.
What that means for the NPL, which relegated Civics and Orlando Pirates along with demoted Young African last season, is that their regelation process will not be recognized by NFA and Fifa, and that equally means Pirates and Civics could both have their premier league status restored.
In the case of demoted Young African, they still have a pending appeal with the NFA and their matter will be handled differently, as the NFA’s Appeals Committee is yet to hear their case.
“Namibian footballer lovers are well aware of the fact that during the 2018/2019 football season, no football was played in both the First and Second Divisions. This means that only the Premier League was active but for the two other leagues, football was at a standstill. The Normalisation Committee (NC) which took office on 8 February 2019, started to engage Fifa in March during the African Cup of Nations draw in Egypt in regards to a preferred outcome for the promotion and relegation of teams in the NPL as well as for clubs in the First and Second Divisions. This discussion continued with our engagements during the Fifa World Congress in June 2019 and on 27th June 2019, Fifa formally endorsed the position of the Normalisation Committee that ‘there should be no promotion or relegation among the three leagues’,” reads the NFA statement.
The statement continues: “…Thus the Normalisation Committee hereby confirms that no relegation or promotion will take place in Namibian football for the season 2018/2019 and states categorically that this decision is final. The committee believes this decision to be in the best interest of football given the specific abnormal realities in the fraternity. Citing Article 9 of the Fifa Statutes which deals with the principle of promotion and relegation, it is believed that no ‘sporting merit’ exists which determines a club’s participation in a league.”
Queried for comment, NPL chairman Patrick Kauta said: “The NPL hasn’t received any communication from the Normalisation Committee and offers no response until