WINDHOEK – After weeks of uncertainty, the executive committee of the Namibia Premier League (NPL) yesterday finally announced that for this season – which ends on Sunday – the league will relegate the bottom three teams, including demoted Young African FC, but the promotion of teams still hangs in the balance due to an inactive National First Division (NFD).
At a well-attended press conference at Football House in Katutura, NPL chairman Patrick Kauta said the Namibia Football Association (NFA) rules and methods governing the promotion and relegation of clubs are very clear as to what is to be done.
“If you read clause 1.1.1 of 1.1 and clause 4.3 as well as 4.4 of Rule 4 under the same NFA rules and methods governing the promotion and relegation of clubs, I think they provide enough guidance as to what is to be done when the league ends on Sunday. Clause 1.1.1 states that the league shall consist of no more than 16 clubs. The clubs which, at the end of the 20l8/19 season are placed numbers 14, 15 and 16 on the final log standing of the 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 in terms of this rule. That means we will relegate the three bottom teams come Sunday when the league ends,” said Kauta.
Clause 4.3 states: “No Member or League shall amend or change the format of the promotion or relegation of clubs as contained in these regulations” and clause 4.4 goes on to state: “A Member or League which contravenes the provisions of these rules commits an act of misconduct.”
Furthermore, clause 1.1.2 of the same provision that deals with the relegation of clubs from any given league, states: “The three clubs that have won their respective First Division Streams will automatically be promoted to the Namibia Premier League”, but as it currently stands, Namibia does not have active National First Division to cater for the promotion process.
As a solution, Kauta announced that the NPL and the Fifa Normalisation Committee have installed an ad-hoc committee that will look into reactivating First Division football between now and August. Failure by the ad-hoc committee to resuscitate First Division football by August, the NPL will not promote any teams and will move ahead to start the 2019/20 season with 13 teams.
Asked about the burning issue of demoted Young African, which did not participate in the current season due to suspension, and on how the NPL can relegate a club that has a pending appeal with the NFA, Kauta somehow zigzagged around the question and brushed it off saying the Young African matter is at this point of little significance as it still boils down to relegation or demotion, whatever way is interpreted.