The Namibia Premier League (NPL), soon to be officially certified by the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) as the sole entity to promote, administer, control, govern and regulate all forms of professional football in the country, yesterday provided a detailed action plan on how it intends to transform the ailing fortunes of local football.
In a well-articulated five-page action plan, the NPL announced that it will seek international affiliation with the World League Forum (WLF), a body established to provide all forms of practical assistance to professional leagues around the world.
The WLF, which is currently home to 41 members from five of Fifa’s six continental confederations, is governed by a steering committee composed of representatives and executives from top member leagues, including Mexico’s Liga MX, USA’s Major League Soccer, Germany’s Deutsche Football Liga, and the French Football League.
The NPL also announced that its legal structure will consist of two tiers – the Premier Division and the National First Division (NFD), and will be managed in a way similar to that of the German Bundesliga’s two divisions.
To ensure that Namibia realises her dream of professionalising football and create an industry for local players, the NPL explained that it will be independent of the Namibia Football Association (NFA). But they will, however, forge a mutually-beneficial contractual relationship with the NFA, similar to that of the Bundesliga with the German FA.
“Every club in the professional league must have a licence to play in the league. To obtain a licence, clubs will be subjected to an agreed vetting process, and must meet certain standards of conduct as per NPL regulations. The benefits of professional football, amongst others, is employment creation for more than 650 players, hence the formation of a legally and ethically-managed company. The NPL envisages to conclude a collective bargaining agreement with the players’ representatives to ensure compliance with labour laws, Fifa statutes and enhance living standards. There will also be an obligation for all premier league clubs to have a youth development structure. This will increase the pool of players and strengthen the national team in the long run,” said the NPL.
“The NPL will enter into broadcasting, sponsorship and other commercial arrangements with any legal entity, and solicit and accept fees, donations, bequests, contributions, endowments and subscriptions for the benefit of the league. The NPL will be the sole responsible body to exploit all sponsorship and licensing rights created and related to the competitions of the NPL. The NPL is in the process of procuring the services of a media partner and an online content provider that will be aligned with a marketing and brand strategy for the league. The expression of interest will be advertised in due course.”
Last week Thursday, the national Appeals Committee, in its landmark ruling, directed the NSC to register the NPL as a sport body responsible for professional football within 14 days. The NSC was also directed to recognise and register the NPL’s constitution and rules within the prescribed 14 days – meaning the NSC has until next week Thursday, 12 August, to fullful all obligations as directed by the appeals committee.