• August 4th, 2020

Wounded NPL has until 15 May to pay N$800 000...as league looks to CAS for last hope

Wounded and limping from two defeats at the Windhoek High Court and the Supreme Court, the Namibia Premier League (NPL) is now placing all its eggs in one busket as it looks to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for hope and survival.
Following its suspension in October last  year by the Fifa-appointed Normalisation Committee for the Namibia Football Association (NFA), the NPL has ever since been on the road seeking the annulment of the suspension. 

To compound matters, in February this year at the NFA elective congress, an overwhelming 20 of the 22 delegates voted in favour of upholding the league’s suspension, as they all cited NPL’s continued disregard and violation of the local football governing body’s directives.
Since their suspension late last year, the NPL sought salvage with the High Court last year but lost and then proceeded to launch an appeal with the Supreme Court, but again lost the second round of the legal skirmish. 

Both courts cited lack of jurisdiction to hear the matter, and advised the league takes its grievances to a court of sport, in this instance CAS. The league has since appealed its suspension with CAS and proceedings in that matter are yet to start.

Thursday last week, CAS finance director Miguel Abelairas wrote to the NPL, through the league’s lawyers Dr Weder, Kauta & Hoveka Inc. informing the league that since the respondent NFA indicted their unwillingness to pay their part of the advance for costs of CHF20 000 Swiss francs, the NPL has until 15 May to “…accordingly, pursuant to Article R64.2 of the Code of Sports-related Arbitration, the Court of Arbitration for Sport is obliged to invite the Appellant (NPL) to pay the entire advance of costs in order to cover the arbitration costs in this matter. 
Consequently, I invite NPL to make a total payment of CHF40 000 Swiss francs (which is N$78 0278.18). This amount should be paid on or before 15 May 2020 to the CAS bank account.”

In its email to NPL, CAS also cautioned that “finally, I remind the parties that, in the absence of the full payment of CHF 40 000 within the said time limit, the appeal will be deemed withdrawn.”
The NFA lawyer’s letter to CAS regarding their share of payment in the matter read as follows: “I refer to CAS today’s latter regarding the above-mentioned procedure, the content of which is duly noted. In this respect, please be advised that the respondent (NFA) does not intend to pay its share of the advance of costs.” 

This has since left the NPL with a combined gigantic bill of almost N$800 000 to pay to CAS if it wants the appeal to be heard and that money should be paid before 15 May – this is for an organisation that just a few weeks ago had to cut employees’ salaries by 24% as a result of financial constraints.   

Asked by this publication yesterday as to where the league will get the N$800 000 to pay to CAS, NPL spin doctor Andre Gariseb, who hastily first queried with his superiors before depositing a lukewarm response via email moments later, said: “You may be cognisant of the fact that the NPL’s fiscal reports are tabled and discussed at the BoG and NPL congress. Also, the NPL is under no obligation to discuss ‘any aspect of its financials’ through the media. For that reason, the league reserves its right not to talk about its financial matters through the media. A right that the league trusts the media will respect.”
– ohembapu@nepc.com.na

Otniel Hembapu
2020-04-27 09:22:26 | 3 months ago

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