… No more delays and appeals, Stars must honour remaining 8 minutes – NPL source
By Otniel Hembapu
WINDHOEK – Contrary to earlier reports that the MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) champions for 2014 would be crowned over the weekend, reigning champions Black Africa (BA) who managed to scrape a much-needed draw against Tura Magic on Saturday to accumulate 46 points atop of the log standings saw their crowning momentarily put on hold due to the ongoing protests by African Stars.
African Stars with 45 points are currently trailing BA after thumping Blue Boys 3-0 on Saturday but are protesting against the NPL’s decision to have their abandoned match against Orlando Pirates resume for the remaining 8 minutes. They would rather have the entire match replayed.
The match in discussion was abandoned with just 8 minutes remaining on the clock following a power outage at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in March. The power outage kept some parts of Katutura’s Dolam Location in darkness for a few hours but prior to the outage, Pirates were leading 2-0 and were seemingly headed for a win had it not been for the power failure.
As for the protests and their effect on BA’s lead, should Stars’ appeal to have the match entirely replayed yield any success and Stars go on to beat Pirates then Stars will be crowned champions on points and if they scrape a draw, Stars will still win the league on goal difference.
A source within the NPL disclosed to New Era Sports yesterday that league authorities held a brief round-table discussion late on Friday when they resolved to have the remaining 8 minutes of the match played with the hope of concluding league activities before Thursday.
The source further revealed that some members on the NPL Management Committee (MC) have grown tired of the seemingly unending situation and have thus decided they would conclude all league proceedings within this week, with or without Stars’ concerns.
“According to information that I have at hand right now, the NPL have decided that if Stars fail to beat Pirates within the remaining 8 minutes, BA will legitimately be crowned league champions and that would automatically render Stars’ pending protests irrelevant,” said the source.
Rundu Chiefs survive the axe for now, Blue Boys relegated
In other league results, Rundu Chiefs revitalized their ailing hopes of extending their stay in the Namibia Premier League (NPL) when they displayed a gallant performance to defeat Tigers 2-0 on Saturday, while PC Blue Boys were relegated after losing 3-0 to African Stars, also on Saturday.
A defeat would have ended the Rundu-based outfit’s stay in the topflight league, sending them straight to the National North-Eastern First Division Stream next season.
In a desperate bid to retain their place in the elite league, Rundu Chiefs will have to win all their games in the NPL promotional play-offs in Tsumeb next Saturday. The promotional play-offs will be contested between North-Eastern Stream First Division runners-up Benfica FC from Tsumeb; North-Western Stream First Division runners-up Mighty Gunners from Otjiwarongo; Southern Stream First Division runners-up Rebels FC from Windhoek and the team which ended 11th on the NPL log standings this season – in this case Rundu Chiefs.
From the four teams, only three will be promoted to the NPL next season, joining three First Division Stream winners – Julinho Sporting FC from Rundu; Touch & Go FC from Otavi and Windhoek-based Citizens FC. The six teams will join the remaining 10 NPL teams, making the MTC Premiership a 16-team league as of next season.
– Additional reporting Nampa