… Disgruntled clubs threaten to form rebel league
Following months of uncertainty over the immediate future of domestic football – notably the country’s topflight football league, the Namibian Premiership (NPL) – local football has taken another nasty twist.
Serious questions are being raised about the country’s football governing body, the Namibia Football Association’s (NFA) resolution to disband with immediate effect the unconstitutionally appointed NPL Interim Committee – replacing it with its preferred ad hoc committee.
A strong delegation from the NFA and members of the NPL’s now disbanded interim committee held an emergency meeting in Windhoek last Friday under the stewardship of NFA president Frans Mbidi.
According to a statement issued by the NFA Secretariat, it was resolved to replace the NPL Interim Committee with an ad hoc committee to be chaired by NFA executive member and the association’s competitions honcho, Roger Kambatuku.
And whilst Franco Cosmos has been relegated to the position of deputy chairman, the discarded quartet of Nana Tjombe, Ranga Haikali, Victor Hamunyela and Evaristus Evaristus have all resurfaced as members of the newly appointed ad hoc committee.
The ad hoc committee has been tasked to take charge of all administrative and management functions of the country’s topflight league with immediate effect. The committee must also put its ducks in the row – ensuring league activities kick off as slated for the 12th of this month.
Furthermore, the ad hoc committee has been mandated to start with the normalization process and subsequently speed up the eagerly awaited election of the NPL Exco within the shortest period possible. The gathering also resolved to grant Mbidi signing power for the prolonged sponsorship agreement between sponsors MTC and the NPL on behalf of the latter. All present at the gathering were in unison that the legal composition of the NPL Interim Committee could not be constitutionally supported or recognized by any of the existing football legal frameworks as the mother body was found wanting in that regard. In the absence of a constitutional backing, the NFA would not be in a position to recognize an interim body as a legally and authentically constituted one – hence the decision to appoint an ad hoc committee.
However, well-known local football critic Hendrik Christian rubbished the advanced explanation, saying the NFA has acted way beyond the confines of its boundaries.
“That’s an illegal practice, – (NFA) is totally offside with its misinterpretation of article 53 of its own constitution dealing with ad hoc committees. The statutes do not specifically refer to affiliates but more to members of organs within the NFA executive and internal structures.”
The outspoken football guru made reference to article 17, sub 1 & 2 of the NFA statutes dealing with members and bodies’ independence which stipulates: each member shall manage its affairs independently without the interference of third parties.
“This is gross travesty of justice – members are within range of their constitutional ambit to challenge this draconian decision. I’m personally advising them to approach the sports commission (NSC) for recourse and have this equally unconstitutional composition of the NFA ad hoc committee nullified,” charged Christian.
Approached to shed light on the unfolding saga, off-loaded interim committee member, Black Africa strongman Ranga Haikali says it’s not a done and sealed deal yet.
“As it stands, we obviously find ourselves in a catch-22 situation because we are not entirely comfortable with the outcome and subsequent resolution from the meeting we had with the NFA on Friday.
“Nonetheless, in the best interest of football, we informed the NFA that we will seek directives from the NPL BoG and will abide by any decision taken by the NPL Board of Governors.”
Haikali is also not exactly keen chairing the same platform with Kambatuku, adding that his club Black Africa is currently embroiled in conflict with the NFA over their withdrawal from the ongoing Debmarine Namibia Cup.
Six of the NPL heavyweights withdrew from the national knockout cup – citing insufficient preparation time after their request for a postponement was turned down.
The aggrieved clubs are reportedly mooting the formation of a breakaway Super League should their desire for an overhaul in the top echelons of domestic football fail to gather pace.
Meanwhile, New Era Sport has been reliably informed that MTC has called for an urgent meeting to meet the 16 NPL clubs at its headquarters tomorrow.