Namibia: We Are Not the Problem - Cosmos

17 September 2019

THE Fifa Normalisation Committee for Namibia's deputy chairperson Franco Cosmos on Monday said they are not holding football back, and that there are funds for the lower divisions to kick off.

The Namibia Premier League's refusal to renounce its dispute, registered with the Namibia Sports Commission, against the interim national football mother body is the primary reason the country's three divisions remain inactive, he stated.

To that end, the Normalisation Committee (NC) sits today to decide the course of action to take regarding its rebellious affiliate, which they have earlier threatened with suspension.

The NPL, whom the sports commission directed back to the normalisation committee or alternatively to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, asked to urgently meet the NC after failing to reach consensus at its board of governors' meeting last week.

"After their [NPL] meeting on Wednesday, they wanted to meet on Thursday or Friday. I informed them that their request was at short notice. We will meet tomorrow to deliberate on the issues, and revert to them," Cosmos told The Namibian Sport.

The NPL questions the authenticity and motive of the Fifa directive. Additionally, they contest that the NC has misinterpreted NFA regulations having 'unlawfully and impermissibly arrogated the decision to Fifa contrary to its statutes and rules, while it also "endorsed its own clandestine decision in circumstances not provided for by its enabling statutes and rules".

"What is blocking everything is the dispute. It seems the blame is being put on us. We did not register any dispute with anyone.

We wrote to them to retract the dispute. How do I call you for a meeting when we have a sub judice matter that you have registered?" Cosmos queried.

The notion that the five-member NC are a self-indulging bunch using NFA resources to advance personal agendas is off the mark, he continued.

"People are blaming us, and saying we have egos. We've got no scores to settle. We would like to resolve this matter. But you should know that the public's eyes are on us, and if we are not doing things correctly, there will be an outcry," Cosmos stressed.

Relations between the NPL and NC have been strained since the former registered a national dispute in July following a Fifa resolution to disregard relegation from the top flight for the past season in the absence of lower-tier football.

The NPL wants to kick off the 2019-20 season with 13 teams, without the relegated Civics and Orlando Pirates, while Young African - expelled from the premiership in January after being found guilty of fraudulently fielding Zimbabwean Tapiwa Musekiwa as Albert Mujikijera the season before - also want a piece of the action.

The NPL feel they are well within their rights to do so without the NC's approval, a position that does not enjoy support from half the NPL clubs, who are ready to cancel their membership.

"We wrote them an initial letter, but did not even impose the sanctions as we had set in that letter. We decided to give them a second chance because we were aware of the BoG meeting [last Thursday] which they were going to have. But they did not come back [on the conditions of the NC letter]," Cosmos stressed.

"They are telling us about money they found for the first division and second division. We did not ask for that. We have money from Fifa," he declared.

"Fifa wants that the three leagues should start programmes at the same time. They said they are going to finance the three [first division] streams and the second divisions on condition that the leagues start at the same time."

There remains concerted resistance to change within domestic football structures since Fifa activated the remedial body in January, Cosmos said.

He added that the NC, which is still to set a date for an elective congress to elect a new NFA leadership, is not above the world football governing body and in no position to alter Fifa proclamations, as the NPL is asserting.

"Our position is straightforward. The first thing we asked them is to retract the announcement of the start of the league and fixtures programme. It should be done with the approval of the mother body".

"The second one is retract your dispute for us to be able to engage each other. Or if you don't want to, then take it to CAS and let's meet there because that's the only [remaining] platform. They did not do that.

"The third thing is, Fifa said there is no promotion or relegation. It is not us. We are an extension of Fifa. What should we do?

"The fourth one is that, let us meet at the table if you have addressed these things, so we discuss the way forward. They didn't do it," Cosmos emphasised.

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