Namibia: NPL Lose Supreme Court Appeal

19 February 2020

The Supreme Court dismissed the Namibia Premier League's urgent application against the Fifa Normalisation Committee for Namibia with costs on Wednesday, saying it had no jurisdiction to hear the matter.

In a carbon copy ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the High Courts' finding that the appeal should have been filed with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The decision means Saturday's Namibia Football Association elective congress in Windhoek will go ahead as planned with the suspended NPL only allowed a watching brief.

It also means that the NPL, if the suspension is lifted at the NFA Congress on Saturday, is compelled to re-admit Orlando Pirates and Civics as part of the disputed NFA directive to disregard relegation and promotion for the 2018-19 season.

"The NC feels vindicated. It's a sense of relief that we welcome this verdict by the highest court in the country. I think we've known for a long time that we were within our rights. What people must remember is that when you make a decision on a given issue, you apply yourself in the most precise way, so that you make the right decision," Fifa Normalisation Committee chairperson Hilda Basson Namundjebo told The Namibian Sport.

The NPL can still take their grievance to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne. However, time and resources are against the aggrieved football body.

"It's disappointing to be honest. I thought we had a solid case, unfortunately the judges didn't see it that way," said NPL chief executive officer Harald Fuelle.

"The NPL executive will meet either today or tomorrow urgently and then convene a meeting with the NFA to see how we can resolve the matter."

Last year, the NPL approached the High Court on an urgent basis to set aside the suspension and to halt the 9 November NFA extra-ordinary congress where an appeals committee was approved.

The appeal committee appointment is crucial in determining the composition of the top flight for the new season.

After being demoted in January for falling foul of registration rules, Young African may have a route back to the premiership if their appeal is positive.

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