NPL 2019/20 season to start next month – Fulle… league takes firm stand against NFA
WINDHOEK – The Namibia Premier League (NPL) 2019/20 football season will kick off within the first two
weeks of next month, this after the league’s executive committee took the decision last weekend.
The sports desk of the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) – which is a sister media outlet of this
publication – yesterday quoted the NPL’s chief executive officer Harald Fulle confirming that the
league’s executive organ this past weekend resolved the new season will start on the second week of September, despite the ongoing ruckus with its mother body the Namibia Football Association (NFA).
Upon conclusion of the NPL’s 2018/19 season, the league’s chairman Patrick Kauta announced that Orlando Pirates and Civics were relegated from topflight football and would join demoted Young African as the bottom three teams exiting the NPL structures.
But last month, the Fifaappointed Normalisation Committee for the NFA – with the blessings of Fifa – wrote
to the NPL informing them of their decision not to recognise the league’s move to relegate
Pirates and Civics, saying the NPL cannot go about relegating teams in isolation while the country’s first division leagues were dormant, and could thus not promote teams to the premier division.
As part of its decision, the Normalisation Committee instructed the NPL to scrap its relegation of teams last season and ensure that both Pirates and Civics are made part of the new upcoming season,
while demoted Young African awaits its fate from the NFA Appeals Committee regarding its pending appeal.
Also last month, the NPL refused to bow to the Normalisation Committee’s decision and move swiftly to
declare a dispute with the NFA, and instructed the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) to
facilitate the arbitration process where both parties will be heard.
But as of yesterday, the NPL appeared to have taken a firm decision to start its 2019/20 season proceedings early next month and the league is determined to go ahead with its decision irrespective of what the NFA’s standpoint is on the relegated teams. If the league will start with 13 teams in the new season, that is something the NPL is yet to officially announce. “We wrote to the Normalisation Committee
to declare a dispute and they [Normalisation Committee] should have responded to our
letter already by Friday, which they did not. So we are asking the sports commission to ask the minister to put up an appeals committee,” said Fulle.
While the NPL is occupied with the relegation and promotion saga with the NFA, another letter was also written by more than six clubs to the league questioning as to who gave the NPL the mandate to declare a dispute with the NFA and by extension the Fifa-endorsed decision of not relegating teams. On the letter
written by the clubs, Fulle had this to say: “We are not going to answer to that letter, because
it is signed by clubs that are not members of the Namibia Premier League.” The CEO,
who has been in office for four months, says he hopes that the Namibia Sports Commission
will solve the matter before their planned kick-off date.
According to Fulle, his office is currently busy preparing the 2019/20 fixtures that will only
accommodate 13 teams – minus relegated Civics and Pirates as well as demoted Young
African. – Adapted from NBC Sports Desk
2019-08-14 08:27:51 9 days ago