The Namibia Premier League (NPL) has bumptiously accepted its expulsion by the Namibia Football Association (NFA), saying the decision by the local football association to expel the league is unlawful and makes a serious mockery of all norms and values of natural justice.
In a letter dated 27 July 2020, the NPL responded to the NFA’s expulsion letters sent last week to the league’s entire executive committee members, including the league’s chief executive officer Harald Fuelle and league chairman Patrick Kauta.
The association also wrote to all 16 NPL affiliated clubs informing of the NFA’s 16th extra-ordinary congress resolution to disband the NPL from the NFA and further notified all clubs that the association will soon pronounce itself on the way forward for the country’s premiership football. The NPL was expelled for bringing the NFA into disrepute.
In its letter yesterday, the league’s leadership did not take kindly to the NFA’s plans to approach NPL member clubs with the view to influence them to join a new topflight league that will resort under the NFA, with the league saying all 16 clubs have contractual obligations with the NPL and therefore the NFA has no jurisdiction nor legal grounds to approach the clubs without the consent of the league.
As a result of the NFA “unlawfully” approaching/writing to NPL member clubs, the league has since resolved that it will approach the High Court to interdict the association’s “unlawful” conduct of approaching the league’s affiliates and will further seek a declarator that the NFA has no jurisdiction to expel or ban executive members or an employee of the NPL.
Furthermore, the NPL said the NFA’s 16th extra-ordinary congress resolution to expel the league is unlawful and defies the traditional norms of natural justice, as the NPL was not accorded an opportunity to defend itself nor the opportunity to state its case before the expulsion could be enacted by the association’s congress.
“Ex-facie both letters the NFA failed to proffer a charge or hearing against the NPL, as enjoined by its Statutes. The NFA 16th extra-ordinary congress on 18 July 2020, therefore sat as witness, prosecutor and judge in its cause. The relationship between the NFA and NPL is contractual. The conduct of the NFA on 18 July 2020, in the media and both letters amount to a repudiation of the contractual relationship. The NPL accepts the NFA repudiation and concomitant termination of the contractual relationship and reserves herewith its rights to sue for damages,” reads the league’s letter.
The NPL’s letter continued: “To this end, we write to seek a written undertaking that you shall desist from your unlawful conduct by Tuesday at 16h00 [today], pending finalisation of this matter by the Court. Failing which we are compelled to launch urgent proceedings for an interdict, declaratory orders and punitive costs orders.” Contacted for comment yesterday, NFA president Ranga Haikali dug his heels saying he will not entertain the league’s letter and the demands advanced therein. He said the NPL is no longer a member of the NFA and he, therefore, sees no need for the association to have a dialogue with a non-member. “Just look how that letter was written, it doesn’t address me specifically as NFA president but only speaks of a certain Mr Haikali at Football House. So you really expect me to entertain a letter that smells of disrespect, I will not do that. They can go to court, that is their business but as far as I’m concerned, the NPL is no longer a member of the NFA,” said Haikali as he verbally jabbed back.