WINDHOEK – Vice chairperson of the Fifa-appointed Normalisation Committee for the Namibia Football Association (NFA), Franco Cosmos yesterday strongly dispelled perceived notions that him and his fellow committee members are out to settle a personal score with the Namibia Premier League (NPL).
Since their appointment by Fifa early this year, the Normalisation Committee have been at loggerheads with the leadership of the NPL, especially around governing and administration issues between the two organisations.
But of late, the biggest bone of contention between the two entities has been the ongoing dispute about the relegation of clubs by the NPL last season.
The NPL, after having successfully completed their 2018/19 season, relegated old-time league campaigners Orlando Pirates and Civics, and also demoted Young African from the league as a result of ill-discipline and contravention of the league’s rules. The league also hosted its season-ending awards.
But while the NPL smoothly went about its business in the 2018/19 season, the country was faced with gruesome situation where both Namibia’s first and second division leagues were inactive for the entire season due to lack of funds.
As a result, the Normalisation Committee with the blessings of Fifa last month took a decision to nullify the relegation process of the NPL and demanded that relegated Pirates and Civics be reinstated and made part of the new upcoming season, while African will have to wait for their fate from the association’s Appeals Committee.
But the NPL would have none of that and late last month went ahead and declared a national dispute with the Normalisation Committee and also cited the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) as one of the respondents along with the committee. NPL demands that the issues be resolved through an arbitration process no later than this month.
In their arbitration notice last month, the NPL accused the Normalisation Committee of deliberately superseding a standing NPL disciplinary committee’s decision to demote Young African and other enabling rules that deals with the relegation and promotion of clubs to and from the NPL.
But sources in close proximity of the ongoing mêlée believe that there is an ongoing behind-the-scene personality fight between Cosmos and NPL chairman Patrick Kauta, and that with the powers vested in the Normalisation Committee by Fifa, Cosmos is allegedly determined to do anything with those powers to put one past Kauta and by extension the NPL.
But speaking to this publication yesterday, Cosmos rubbished such assertions and insisted that there has never been any bad blood between him and Kauta, adding that all actions and decisions by the Normalisation Committee are guided by Fifa.
“I mean why would I have any problem with Kauta or the NPL? The problems we are facing are bigger than personalities, they are about saving Namibian football and that remains our ultimate goal as mandated by Fifa. People should stop accusing us of abusing power and saying that we [the committee] are looking for fights within football, we are here to help football and normalise things…I have no beef with Kauta and I don’t believe any of my colleagues on the committee also have any beef with him. We are just doing our job, it’s not us that is delaying the start of football it’s them and all these things. Even with their [African Stars which is also chaired by Kauta] CAF Champions League match this weekend, we worked with them on logistics and helped them very well, so why do people think I’m fighting with Kauta?” said Cosmos.
2019-08-08 07:40:43 2 months ago