WINDHOEK – Namibia’s oldest football club Tigers FC this week wrote to the secretariat of the Namibia Premier League (NPL) expressing their distress and dissatisfaction in the NPL’s continuous habit of failing to decorously interpret its own rules and regulations.
In the letter, which was written and signed off by Tigers chairman Dino Ballotti, the club blasted the NPL for inappropriately handling the expulsion of Gobabis-based club Young African FC from the league through a resolution taken by the league’s Disciplinary Committee last week.
The league’s Disciplinary Committee found Young African guilty on two counts of fraud, with both counts related to the use and registration of Zimbabwean import Tapiwa Simon Musekiwa with false identity documents, which the NPL Disciplinary Committee feels was intentional and pre-planned.
As a result, the club was last week relegated from the country’s topflight football and was additionally slapped with a combined fine of N$50 000 for both counts of guilt.
But Tigers are not entirely satisfied with the NPL’s Disciplinary Committee verdict and feels that the league did not thoroughly do their homework when they arrived at that decision. Moreover, Tigers also feel that the league’s Disciplinary Committee delivered a half-baked verdict on the Young African case.
Additionally, Tigers are still at qualms as to how self-confessed fraudster Musekiwa walked away as a free man and is still active in the very same league that linked him to fraudulent activities of having allegedly forged identity documents in connivance with Young African.
Musekiwa is now on the books of defending champions African Stars and has since continued freely plying his trade unhindered for the Katutura giants despite having admitted to committing a crime of such serious nature under false pretence.
Reasons why the NPL have not yet went after Musekiwa remains unknown, and how he (Musekiwa) was registered with Stars remains a mystery as the local football-loving public feel that the Zimbabwean still has a bone to pick with Namibian authorities – be it the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration or the Namibian Police.
Late last year, the very same Musekiwa who the NPL declared fit and proper to play in their competitions with Stars, admitted and declared in an affidavit with the Namibian Police dated October 9, 2018, that he knowingly falsified his identity documents to play on the books of Young African with a tampered passport of a certain Albert Mujikirera.
In fact, a marathon online background check on Musekiwa by New Era Sport yielded little results, with that country’s leading daily The Herald newspaper revealing that the player is not known in the Zimbabwean top tier football structures as he has never played professionally back home.
As per records, Musekiwa was cleared by the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) in 2016 after the club requested his International Transfer Certificate.
In their recent letter to the NPL, Tigers said: “The fact that the league secretariat was very familiar with all the facts and documentations as presented during the application of both Young African FC and African Stars FC, NPL was in a better position to object not to register the player having the full knowledge of the disciplinary case that implicated the said player … we have been informed that Constable Gareth Eichab, the Police Officer who facilitated the statement under oath (declaration), was head coach of Nampol FC and by virtue of being a football official of a member of the Namibia Premier League (First Division) and the NPL eventually being a member of the Namibia Football Association, he is subjected to observe the NPL constitution and its rules and regulations.”
“The player Tapiwa Simon Musekiwa who was not eligible to play is the accomplice of Young Africa FC in this case and he has not been charged by the league, neither did the league report this incident to the relevant authorities. It is our hope and belief that justice shall prevail by giving meaning to FIFA “Fair Play” principle if the NPL take actions against all the parties involved in this matter as highlighted herein,” added the club’s letter.
The NPL headship is today expected to hold a press conference, where they aim to clear the air around the confusion that has of late engulfed the league.