WINDHOEK – There is just a few matches left before the curtains come down on the 2018/19 Namibia Premier League (NPL) season and still there is no concrete communication as to how the NPL will go about the promotion and relegation of teams this season.
But reading through the Namibia Football Association (NFA) “Rules Governing the Methods Used to Promote and Relegate Clubs to and from Different Leagues”, under clause 1.1.1 of 1.1 which deals with relegation of clubs from any given league, 1.1.1 states that: “This league shall consist of no more than sixteen (16) clubs. The club which, at the end of the 20l8/19 soccer season is placed number fourteen (14), fifteen (15) and sixteen (16) on the final log standing of the Namibia Premier League (NPL) shall be automatically relegated to the league below the NPL, which is one of three streams, which shall have jurisdiction over the club relegated terms of this rule.”
Clause 1.1.2 of the same provision that deals with the relegation of clubs from any given league, states that: “The three clubs that has won their respective First Division Streams will automatically be promoted to the Namibia Premier League”, but in the current instance, Namibia does not have active First Division football that would have triggered the promotion process.
With an inactive First Division tier league that could lead to the non-promotion of teams to the NPL, New Era Sport did further digging within the same rules that governs the “Methods Used to Promote and Relegate Clubs to and from Different Leagues”, and had to rely on Rule 4 specifically clause 4.4, which states that: “No Member or League shall amend or change the format of the promotion or relegation of clubs as contained in these regulations.”
Clause 4.4 of the same manual further reads that: “A Member or League which contravenes the provisions of these Rules commits an act of misconduct.”
Having read and digested the above rules, this author came to the conclusion that the NPL might resolve to go ahead with the relegation process and not apply the promotion of teams, given that there is no active First Division and clause 4.4 prohibits any member or league to amend or change the format of the promotion or relegation of clubs as contained in these regulations.
What that further means is that the NPL might just enter the new season with 13 or 12 teams and promotion and regulation of teams might only be considered at the end of the 2019/20 season when all local football leagues are up and running.