By Carlos Kambaekwa
An unclear reference to a tricky clause in the Namibia Football Association’s disciplinary code dribbled around its own authors and got Black Africa Football Club off the hook in their protracted disciplinary case against the Namibia Premier League and African Stars.
At the centre of the storm is the ill-fated MTC Namibia Premier League match which was to have taken place between Black Africa and African Stars on December 12 last year.
The said match was abandoned before kick-off after Black Africa protested against the presence of FIFA accredited referee Mathew Katjimune who they deemed unfit to officiate in that particular match for he was ostensibly under the influence of a yet to be named substance.
The NFA Disciplinary Committee dismissed charges of misconduct against Black Africa on the basis that the football governing body did not comply with its own statutes as stipulated in Rule 33 (2, 3 & 4) of the NFA Disciplinary Code.
The bone of contention centered on the lapse of time from the time the alleged misconduct was committed with Africa’s legal representative arguing that the NFA statutes are not clear when it refers to “days” as the provisions do not exclude weekends and public holidays.
In view of that, Black Africa’s legal representative Otniel Podewiltz vehemently protested and called for the charges to be withdrawn against his client.
He referred to Rule 33.4 which calls for the misconduct to be deemed not to have been committed should the association fail to charge an accused person or club and still worse, fails to convene a disciplinary hearing within the stipulated period as contemplated in the rules.
The NFA Disciplinary Committee noted that the word “day” is defined as the space of time between sunrise and sunset as there is no clear definition of the wording day in the NFA rules.
Approached for their reaction to the ruling, a clearly flabbergasted Mbakumua Hengari, the chairperson of African Stars, said this was news to him as his club had not yet been informed about the outcome of the disciplinary hearing.
“We only learned through the grapevine that the match has been rescheduled but if one now looks at the timeframe between the ruling and the apparent re-scheduling, there’s a sting in the tail somewhere because it appears the ruling has been pre-determined,” moaned the soft-spoken long serving football official.