THE Namibia Sports Commission on Monday announced that the NFA ad hoc committee is eligible to manage the affairs of the Namibia Premier League.
Following a marathon meeting with the NFA's top brass in Windhoek on Sunday, the NSC, who termed the dispute “an unfortunate turn of events”, chose to uphold its affiliate's decision to take over the NPL's administration. The commission was expected to meet with the NPL interim committee on Tuesday before pronouncing themselves on the matter. Whether that meeting will take place is not certain.
“The Namibia Sports Commission, therefore, validated the legitimacy of nullifying the interim committee by the NFA, and approved the legitimacy of the ad hoc committee appointed by the NFA to carry on with the mandate given to them by the mother body of football in this country,” NSC chairperson Joel Matheus said in a statement.
“The decision was supported by the statutes of the mother body NFA, and the relevant information obtained.
“Therefore, all other issues will soon be resolved in due course. We are looking forward for good progress of sports/football in this country,” stated Matheus.
In a surprise move late last month, the Namibia Football Association replaced the NPL interim management committee with an ad hoc committee to ensure the commencement of the elite league on 12 May 2017, as well as to organise an elective congress for a substantive executive committee. The league has still not kicked off.
While the interim committee personnel were retained, the NFA installed its executive member Roger Kambatuku as head of the ad hoc committee, and took over negotiations with would-be sponsors.
This angered several clubs, including league champions Tigers, who last week challenged the legality of the ad hoc committee, and accused the NFA of attempting to hijack the NPL's delayed sponsorship. The latest development is expected to be met by more objections from the aggrieved clubs, who have threatened to renounce their NPL membership and establish a rival league unless the NFA stayed out of the divided league's affairs.
The clubs intending to form a breakaway league are Tigers, Orlando Pirates, Black Africa, African Stars, Blue Waters and Chief Santos. More clubs are said to be contemplating severing ties with the NPL.
Furthermore, the interim committee's head Franco Cosmos and fellow member Ranga Haikali refused to serve on the ad hoc committee.
They agree with the clubs' assertion that the NFA acted outside its legal bounds in meddling in the affairs of the NPL, which despite being an NFA member, is an autonomous entity.
The dismissal of the NPL interim committee has left the country's top division in limbo as friction between clubs and potential sponsors continues.
Last week, MTC, who have been offered the main sponsorship option, distanced themselves from the football feud, with the mobile telecommunications firm's chairman Elvis Nashilongo stating that they would only deal with the interim committee.
In another twist to the saga, Cosmos accused the NFA of fabricating a resolution to change the country's football season calendar in a scathing letter to the NFA on Thursday.
He contests that the NFA's announcement on 25 January that its executive committee had resolved to change the Namibian football calendar to run from 1 February to 30 November was “a falsification of proceedings” of the ruling body's 26th ordinary congress held on 2 December 2016.
The soccer season traditionally runs from August to May.
The change “was not on the agenda of the congress, neither were there any submissions, motivation and/or supporting documentation” provided to member delegates.
Cosmos said the NPL was tasked to keep minutes at the congress, and can prove that the NFA made up “the deceptive resolution, and it was not passed”.
Additionally, Cosmos said such a resolution could not be effected as “this meeting could not proceed since minutes of the previous meeting were not available,” he stated.
“The Namibia Premier League has an obligation and is compelled to ensure that the minutes are a true reflection of the proceedings and deliberations of the said congress,” he charged.
“The insinuation that the NFA executive committee meeting of 2 December 2016 passed a resolution to that effect is devoid of any truth.”
Cosmos also questioned whether the NFA had set the players' transfer window period in accordance with Fifa regulations.
Fifa requires that the two registration periods be submitted to their transfer and matching system 12 months before they come into force.
The NFA announced the new transfer dates to members on 18 January, a week before announcing the season format changes.
“Mr [NFA] president [Frans Mbidi], the NFA's actions in respect of the subject matter is a serious contravention of the NFA's manual on rules and regulations, and in particular article 24.1.2. It raises our suspicion and doubt if the NFA executive obtained Fifa's approval as per the aforementioned article,” Cosmos stressed.
Given the impasse and uncertainty with regards to when the NPL programme will resume, Cosmos has proposed that the NFA reverts to the previous football calendar.
- Title: Sports Commission backs NFA ad hoc committee
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- Date: 6:29 PM