Following days of uncertainty on whether or not the envisioned Namibia Premier Football League (NPFL) will kick off next month, the secretary general of the Namibia Football Association (NFA), Franco Cosmos, yesterday came out to reaffirm that the league will commence on 17 April.
There has been some incessant back and forth between Cosmos and NFA president Ranga Haikali with regards to the start of the NPFL, with Haikali over the weekend informing the media that the league will only start in August but Cosmos later countered this announcement, saying the NPFL will start next month instead.
The general public and the media alike were all felt puzzled by the confusing announcements and contradictory statements by both Cosmos and Haikali. But Cosmos yesterday called a press conference at Football House in Katutura, where he insistently maintained his stance that the NPFL, along with the MTC NFA Cup, will all start on 17 April – rubbishing Haikali’s early announcement.
At yesterday’s press conference, Cosmos was in the company of two NFA executive members Peter Ngulu and Shali Amakali, reaffirming that his decision to commence domestic football has indeed received the blessings of the executive committee.
Haikali was not present at yesterday’s press briefing nor were other members of the executive committee present – and whether or not Cosmos’ decision to start domestic football next month enjoys the full support of the entire executive committee remains unknown.
“The NFA wishes to put the record straight and announce that the NFA unconditionally withdrew all previous conflicting and confusing messages about the official start of the Football Bounce Back Programme in Namibia as erroneously published on the NFA website. The inaccurate communication was an error – and it is inconsistent with the resolutions of the recently held executive committee meeting on 26 and March 2021 at Heja Lodge on the outskirts of Windhoek. As the head of the administration and operations of the NFA, supported by two substantive executive members [Ngulu and Amakali], who also participated in the recent executive meeting, we would like to assure the nation that football will start on the 17 April 2021,” said Cosmos.
Cosmos clarified that all the league, including all 14 Second Divisions and the three First Division Streams, as well as the MTC NFA Cup preliminary round will all kick off at the same time on 17 April, which will later see the MTC NFA Cup preliminary round paving way for the round-of-32 of the FA Cup.
“During this period, the NPFL, all 14 Second Divisions and First Division Streams, including the Women Football League will play a transition league in preparation for the League Proper slated to commence in August 2021 and ending June 2022.
This will align the NFA Football Season 2021/2022 with the rest of the world football calendar of FIFA. The registration of players will start on 5 April until 1 July 2021, while the NPFL so far has twelve teams namely, Black Africa, Civics, Citizen, Tigers, Mighty Gunners, Blue Waters, Young African, Young Brazilian, Julinho Sporting and Orlando Pirates.
Meanwhile, teams such as African Stars, Okahandja United, Unam FC and Life Fighters are yet to confirm their affiliation to the local football governing body,” explained Cosmos.