By Carlos Kambaekwa
The dust refuses to settle in the protracted dispute between the Namibian Premier League (NPL) and African Stars over the rescheduling of the ill-fated first round league match between Stars and Black Africa.
At the centre of the storm is the League’s resolution to reschedule the match following the dismissal of misconduct charges brought by the League against Black Africa, earlier this year.
The Namibia Football Association’s Disciplinary Committee granted Africa their wish for the matter to be dismissed after their defence counsel detected flaws in the procedures preceding the disciplinary hearing.
The League would have none of this and sought refuge with the NFA’s Appeals Board, but the Board upheld the verdict – a decision that angered Stars’ management, compelling them to seek justice from a third party.
However, the League unsuccessfully tried to dribble its way around Stars’ plea for the matter to be reviewed by an independent panel but the League turned a deaf ear and rescheduled the match for tonight at the Khomasdal Stadium (19h00).
In the meantime, the Reds’ management has written a letter to the League – informing them that they would not be able to honour the outstanding fixture whilst their protest has not been dealt with satisfactorily.
Stars’ legal team insists the League does not qualify to handle their protest as it constitutes a serious conflict of interest since the protest culminated from the League’s apparent misinterpretation of the rules and laws that governs the game of football.
Pressed to shed some light on the status of the issue, the League administrator Tovey Hoebeb said as far as the League is concerned, nothing has changed and the match is still on with or without Stars.
However, the Reds remained adamant and threatened to get a court interdict if need be, should the league persist with its decision to reschedule the match without considering their application for arbitration.