Namibia: Football in Chaos

THE Namibia Premier League's attempt to start a body to rival the Namibia Football Association "borders on criminality and creating anarchy", NFA president Ranga Haikali and eight top flight clubs said.

The clubs - Blue Waters, Julinho Sporting, Mighty Gunners, Orlando Pirates, Tigers, Civics, Citizens and Young African - distanced themselves from the newly established "professional league independent from any Namibia Football Association structures".

The new body has been questionably registered with the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) as a non-profit Section 21 company.

The clubs said they did not give the NPL executive committee permission to explore such an undertaking, while the Namibia Sports Commission said it cannot grant the NPL the same status as the NFA.

The NPL was expelled as a member of the NFA at an extra-ordinary congress last month for bringing football into disrepute. Also expelled are NPL executive members Patrick Kauta, Peter Nakura, Gabriel Tjombe, Bonnie Paulino as well as NPL CEO Harald Fülle.

"BIPA approved the registration of NPL as a professional league without a legitimate congress resolution of the Namibia Premier League," the clubs said in a joint press statement.

"Not even the Board of Governors and/or executive committee of the NPL have the power to take such a critical decision without proper consultation and subsequent authorisation.

"We want to be informed about the due processes followed," the aggrieved clubs charged.

The NPL has not responded to a query, sent on Thursday, to provide clarity on the issue.

Haikali said the NPL's move was designed to create chaos which would result in another Fifa intervention.

Namibia was placed under a Fifa normalisation committee from January 2019 to 22 February, when the Haikali led-administration was elected.

"For people who are supposed to be legal minds, they are doing things bordering on criminal activities and are still defying the set down legal principles," said Haikali.

"These people are trying to create chaos so that Fifa intervenes and bans Namibia.

This borders to criminality and creating anarchy. And, which players will register with such a rebel league?" Haikali quizzed.

"Will they start football under the Fifa calendar if they are not a member of the NFA? Will the sponsors associate with the type of football league that is not regulated under the national sports body or mother body of sport in the country and yet claims to be a professional body?"

The rogue structure's ambitions have no bearing on NFA's plans to start a new top flight division, Haikali said.

Last week, the NFA invited all 16 teams signed to the NPL last season to apply for a spot in the substitute top tier league in terms of Article 18 of the NFA statutes. They have until 23 August to sign up.

"Our constitution is very clear that the top tier league will resort under the NFA. Secondly, our constitution gives us the right to start a league under the league desk, and that's the process we are following because it is not something we can do overnight," said Haikali.

Before announcing its intention to form a rival body, the NPL said it "accepted the NFA Congress's unilateral decision to terminate its membership on 27 July 2020".

However, the NPL has not withdrawn a CAS application to challenge its suspension and subsequent omission from February's NFA elective congress, while further civil action against the NFA in the High Court is being considered.

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