Namibia: Sun Sets On NPL

IN A seismic move, ten clubs ceded from the Namibia Premier League barely hours after concluding a virtual meeting with government's committee of eminent persons (CEP) on Monday evening.

The clubs are, however, not yet members of the Namibia Football Association's Top Tier League which they have been "provisionally accepted" for.

They still have "constitutional requirements" to fulfil and be vetted by the NFA executive on 24 October, with full admission to be granted on 5 December, says acting secretary general Franco Cosmos.

This includes submitting "minutes of its last congress, annual general meeting or constitutional meeting" as part of affiliation requirements.

Additionally, they must present their constitution, a declaration that they would adhere to NFA, Cosafa, CAF and Fifa decisions and regulations, and would settle disputes within the prescribed structures only. They must also pay an unspecified membership fee.

Not all applicants have met all requirements, Cosmos said.

The clubs are Black Africa, Tigers, Young African, Civics, Orlando Pirates, Citizens, Julinho Sporting, Mighty Gunners, Young Brazilians and Blue Waters.

" . . . the secretariat shall soon convene a working session to acquaint you with the association league model and governance as well as all requisite considerations, for the purpose to constitute a top-tier league properly," Cosmos wrote to the clubs earlier on Monday.

They will notify the NPL, which ignored The Namibian Sport's query on the subject yesterday, of their decision "out of courtesy", the clubs said.

"We were invited by the NFA, we have responded and we got our letters that our application has been successful," said Tigers SC executive Lukas Nanyemba on behalf of the clubs.

"We are here to celebrate that whatever was there is water under the bridge; we are moving forward and we are looking forward to starting football as soon as possible.

"We have reconciled with the current situation and the only way we will feel at home is with the NFA. So, we will respect every decision of the association," Nanyemba continued.

The clubs believe a top flight in unison with the national FA will see the end of power struggles that resulted in lengthy domestic action stoppages over the last decade.

"Who's causing the problem? NPL. We were the members of the NPL. Some of us were part of these problems; today we said enough is enough," said Nanyemba.

"We cannot continue to deprive the Namibian nation and the generations that want to play football, and even the stakeholders, the vendors, the coaches.

"So, we want to move on and play football. So, whatever the NFA tells us to do, we will do. We will abide by those directives," he reiterated.

Monday's development further renders the CEP's existence and mission rudderless, and it is unclear what minister of sport, youth and national service Agnes Tjongarero will do next.

Fifa rejected the CEP and backed the NFA for having axed the NPL through due process.

Having initially defied Fifa, Tjongarero said she would let the NFA operate without undue third-party influence. The change of tact came after Fifa reiterated it would ban Namibia, while the country's football patron and head of state Hage Geingob also said to have heavily reprimanded her.

The NPL, which is left with six teams, is reportedly still clinging to hopes that the Namibia Sports Commission will approve their application to be recognised as a second national football governing body independent of the NFA.

The new organisation, which intends to run a professional league, was initiated by expelled NPL executive members and controversially registered on 29 July as a Section 21 company with the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (Bipa).

"They must respect our decisions as individual clubs. [NPL chairperson Patrick] Kauta never had any mandate from the clubs who are the custodian of NPL to do what he has been doing. He is also expelled, so we cannot be led by them any more," said Young African chairman Maleagi Ngarizemo.

"We warned the exco of NPL since last year about respecting the [NFA] directives and not go to court," he said.

"Since NPL got expelled, Kauta has not called a meeting to decide the future of NPL. Instead, he went with seven clubs to Bipa and registered, so the trust is broken. We will not go back to NPL at all; we have moved on."

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