The expelled Namibia Premier League (NPL) continues to fire missiles from both ends of the battlefield, as the league at one end is engaged in protracted talks with the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) over a licence to go fully professional and at the other end, it is busy bolstering its case filed with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) against the Namibia Football Association (NFA).
On 30 September, the NPL – which is contesting its suspension and subsequent expulsion by the NFA – filed its appeal brief with Cas, wherein it defended its appeal and also provided additional supporting documents and arguments as well as contended why Cas should hear its appeal.
This publication also understands that the league submitted names of witnesses and witness statements to their case and are pushing for their appeal to come before a Cas arbitrator as soon as possible, as a favourable decision by Cas could see their suspension and expulsion lifted, and that could also spell the return of football.
In a letter dated 7 October, also seen by New Era Sport, Cas wrote to both the NPL and NFA recognising that it received the league’s appeal brief and by extension notified the NFA that it has 20 days to respond to the NPL’s appeal brief as provided for by Article R55 of Cas.
In Wednesday’s letter, Cas told the NFA its response to the NPL within the stipulated 20 days should contain a comprehensive statement of defence – including whether Cas lacks jurisdiction or not – and the NFA should also exhibit or specify any evidence it intends to rely on.
The Swiss-based court of sport also said the NFA should provide name(s) of any witnesses, including a brief summary of their expected testimony. The witness statements, if any, shall be filed together with the answer, unless the sole arbitrator decides otherwise. The name(s) of any experts, stating their area of expertise, whom the NFA intends to call, should also be listed and it should also state any other evidentiary measure which it wants to be put forth.
“If the respondent (NFA) fails to submit its answer by the given time limit, the Sole Arbitrator may nevertheless proceed with the arbitration and deliver an award. Pursuant to Article R31 of the Code, the answer shall be filed by courier, in at least four (4) copies. Please be advised that I remain at the parties’ disposal for any further information,” reads Wednesday’s Cas letter.
Meanwhile, the league is also engaged in marathon talks with the NSC over its application to be recognised as a sport body that will focus on and run a professional football league, which will feature all components of a professional set-up. The NPL has argued that it being recognised as a sport body by the NSC and its envisaged professional league is not aimed at becoming equal with the NFA, but is aimed at bringing local football on par with the likes of South Africa, Zambia, Botswana and others.