Namibia: NPL Kick-Off 'Within Two Weeks'

20 September 2019

DEPENDING on the outcome of Thursday's crunch talks between the Fifa Normalisation Committee for Namibia and the Namibia Premier League in Windhoek, the top-flight soccer league will be active in two weeks or remain dormant.

Additionally, should deliberations go favourably, the NPL's annual general meeting to usher in the new season will go ahead on Saturday as scheduled.

The warring bodies finally sat down to iron out their differences after the NC relaxed prerequisites for discourse with the NPL, who themselves were expected to make concessions leading to domestic football, including the lower divisions, kick-starting imminently.

Ahead of Thursday's meeting, NPL public relations officer Andre Gariseb said the MTC Premiership would start in a fortnight, with or without the NC's blessings.

"I can confirm that the NC responded, and is willing to sit down and discuss the pressing issues with the NPL this afternoon," he told reporters on an NPL social media forum.

"Arrangements are on track for the AGM. We will communicate, should there be any changes," Gariseb continued.

"It is important to note that there are advanced plans in place at the NPL, with the full backing and commitment from our respectable corporate partners, to kick off the league, even within two weeks from now.

"The NPL cares about the interest of the players and football fans. Therefore, the NPL's main goal with regards to the requested meeting with the NC is to find a workable solution that would avoid further delays and start the league as early as possible."

The NPL and NC have been locked in a war of words for months, with the relegation and promotion of clubs from the premier division for last season having been the primary bone of contention.

A dispute lodged with the Namibia Sports Commission by the NPL against the NC in July over a Fifa directive to disregard relegation from the top-flight in the absence of first division football, worsened matters.

The NC refused to meet the NPL, and went as far as threatening to suspend their affiliate, unless they retracted the dispute.

However, having finally agreed to meet, there was hope that Thursday's talks would yield mutually constructive results.

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