• September 28th, 2020

NPL, NFA/NC to square off in court today… defining moment for Namibian football

WINDHOEK – The Fifa-appointed Normalisation Committee (NC) for the Namibia Football Association (NFA) has roped in the legal services of Sisa Namandje & Co. Inc to challenge the urgent application launched by the Namibia Premier League (NPL) last week with the Windhoek High Court.

In its urgent application last week, the NPL demanded that the court immediately direct the NC to lift the suspension against the league, which the NPL argued is unlawful and undermines all principles of natural justice as it was never subjected to a fair hearing prior to the suspension.

The league also demanded that the court urgently and without much delay set aside the planned NFA Extraordinary Congress, which is scheduled to take place this weekend at a yet to be determined venue. 
The NPL, in last week’s application, said if the court allows the NC to go ahead with the planned Extraordinary Congress, the NPL’s rights and privileges would be violated and their voice suppressed as they have not been invited to the congress, to which they should have been invited.

Lastly, the league’s application also demanded that the NC immediately provide the league with the rules and method to be used to promote and relegate clubs to and from different NFA leagues for the 2019/20 season.

But in its answering affidavit filed this week Tuesday, the NC through its lawyers Sisa Namandje & Co. Inc slammed the NPL’s arguments and also said the league’s application had an avalanche of misrepresentation of facts.

The NC, through its lawyers submitted to the court that the NPL’s application be dismissed with costs because “in the circumstances I submit that the applicant is not properly constituted and as a result the applicant in its present state does not have locus standi to bring the present application as it is presently not constituted as contemplated by its own constitution as well as the applicable rules and regulations. On this basis alone I submit that the application should be dismissed with costs. Further arguments will be made at the hearing of this application.”

Furthermore in its answering affidavit, the NC maintained that its decision to suspend the league was lawful and within its powers as well as within the standing provisions and rules of the NFA constitution.
“The applicant has been suspended by the NC because of amongst others, its improper constitution and refusal to comply with directives… It is evident that applicant is not properly constituted as required by the rules and regulations of the first respondent (NFA) as well as by the rules and regulations of the applicant itself. 

At the outset, I made reference to the fact that the NFA Manual on Rules and Regulations is binding on the applicant. 

I specifically refer to this honourable court to the applicant’s own constitution Article 1.6 thereof, which provision I quote for ease of reference: ‘The NPL is the NFA’s only elite and top league with a national character and its area of jurisdiction will be defined by the territorial representation of the members that compose it during a particular football season. The NPL is responsible for the administration and management of the NPL competitions subject to compliance with the NFA constitution and decisions, and provided that administration and management is in accordance at all times with the NFA Manual on rules and regulations,’” reads part of the NC’s court papers.

The NC also argued that holding the planned Extraordinary Congress is of paramount importance to the NFA as an organization, because financial statements from the 2017/18 season will have to be tabled for approval by congress. The NC further said the planned Extraordinary Congress will serve as an opportune platform for the NFA to appoint crucial legal bodies such as the Appeals Committee and Audit Committee, which the NFA currently does not have. 

As such, and given the above importance, the NC said the court should allow the planned congress to go ahead. More arguments from both parties and the subsequent outcome on the matter will be heard today in the Windhoek High Court.

Otniel Hembapu
2019-11-07 08:23:40 | 10 months ago

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