• July 15th, 2020

We are open for renewed talks with NPL – Namundjebo … as Supreme Court dismisses league’s appeal

Chairperson of the Fifa-installed Normalisation Committee (NC) for the Namibia Football Association (NFA), Hilda Basson-Namundjebo, yesterday reiterated her plea to the headship of the suspended Namibia Premier League (NPL) for renewed roundtable talks, following the Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss the NPL’s urgent appeal with costs.

Supreme Court Judge Dave Smuts yesterday dismissed with costs the urgent appeal brought before the court by the NPL seeking to be reinstated as a member of the NFA. The league was suspended in October last year after the NPL disregarded the Normalisation Committee’s directive to reinstate both relegated Civics and Orlando Pirates.  Dismissing the league’s urgent application with costs, Smuts said the court had no jurisdiction over the case and added that the NPL did not provide sufficient grounds and evidence in their papers as to why the matter cannot be resolved through internal remedies as extensively stipulated in the NFA constitution.

“The Normalisation Committee further warned the NPL that if it did not implement the directive related to the teams that would constitute the NPL for the upcoming season, the Normalisation Committee would impose sanctions that would constitute suspension or expulsion,” said Smuts, explaining that meetings were held between the two parties to try and resolve the impasse, but no resolution was met. The persistent and continuous disregard of the Normalisation Committee directive by the NPL led to the suspension of the NPL on 2 October 2019. 

Several attempts were then made by the league to try and get the suspension reversed by the Normalisation Committee, all of which proved fruitless, leading to the league approaching the High Court on an urgent basis. But the High Court dismissed the case also citing lack of jurisdiction.

Smuts said the Supreme Court also declines to exercise its jurisdiction on issues that can be resolved through internal remedies and tribunes referred to by the NFA constitution (articles 10.3 and 64.1).
The articles say members of the NFA cannot approach ordinary courts unless Fifa, CAS or NFA regulations provide for or stipulate recourse in ordinary courts. The judge therefore said based on those findings, the Supreme Court was dismissing the NPL’s case with costs.

Speaking to the media after yesterday’s ruling, Basson-Namundjebo refused to bask in the bliss of the court’s decision and took the opportunity to renew her plea for both the NPL and Normalisation Committee to meet for fresh roundtable talks in the best interest of football and the players. 

“The Normalisation Committee feels vindicated, as it brings a sense of relief. We welcome this verdict by the highest court in the country. I think we have known for a long time that we were within our rights and what people should remember is that when you make a decision on issues, you must always apply yourself in the most precise way… I would love for Namibian football to start today and I would love the NPL to call me today and say let’s set up a meeting and get things going. For them [NPL] to say how do we get it going and how do we access Fifa with regard to the registration of players and more. So, let’s talk, I am ready,” pleaded Basson-Namundjebo. Contacted for comment yesterday, NPL chairperson Patrick Kauta did not respond to questions sent to his mobile by this publication regarding the way forward for the NPL, although it showed on WhatsApp that he had seen the messages.
– ohembapu@nepc.com.na

Otniel Hembapu
2020-02-20 08:55:59 | 4 months ago

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