Windhoek-After months of playing the wait-and-see game, the country’s sport governing body, the National Sports Commission (NSC) has finally made its presence felt.
The powers that be at General Murtalla Mohammed Avenue issued a press release on Sunday confirming a hastily arranged meeting between the NSC and Namibia Football Association (NFA) in Windhoek.
The agenda of the gathering was the prolonged matter between the NFA and its prime affiliate, the Namibian Premier League (NPL), over the disputed legality of the NFA’s decision to nullify the NPL interim committee.
The NSC, as chief custodian of Namibian sports, resolved to call a meeting with the NFA as the commission’s affiliate to deliberate on the matter. The dismissal of the NPL interim committee had caused great consternation among football fans, sponsors and more significantly, players, the real McCoys of the beautiful game.
As a result of the prolonged disagreement between NFA and NPL, NSC felt obliged to intervene and so convened a meeting with its affiliate, in this case, NFA. The meeting at the NSC offices was attended a heavyweight delegation from the football mother body, led by president Frans Mbidi and his two lieutenants, Naftal Kalangi and Croocks Nunuheb, as well as Barry Rukoro, Roger Kambatuku, NFA honorary president John Muinjo and his deputy Dr Viskaya Amutenya.
The Commission was represented by its chairman, Joel Matheus, sandwiched by the trident of Monica Shapwa, Peter Wilson and Rudolph Haingura. NSC’s newly appointed chief administrator, Fred Simataa Mwiya, was also in attendance, while the director of sports, Sivhute Katamba, represented the portfolio ministry.
After marathon four-hour deliberations, interspersed by pertinent consultations, the Commission eventually validated the legitimacy of the decision nullifying the NPL interim committee, thus approving the legitimacy of the ad-hoc committee, as appointed by the NFA to carry on with its mandate, as prescribed by the country’s presiding football body.
It is believed the Commission’s decision was supported by the statutes of the NFA and relevant stakeholders, but, insiders privy to the discussions, revealed to New Era Sport that the decision by NSC to recognise the NFA ad hoc committee could backfire and come back to haunt them big time, because of the conspicuous absence of the NPL interim committee at the meeting to argue their case.
Ironically, New Era Sport has also learned that the four commissioners in attendance did not form the required quorum to make a binding decision on the outcome of the discussion between the parties present at the hastily arranged meeting.
Further inquiry revealed that the members of the disputed NPL internal committee were not invited to the meeting – leaving questions as to how the powers that be at General Murtalla Mohammed Avenue could pass such a crucial resolution in the absence of the aggrieved party.
Approached to shed light on the outcome, the chairman of the disputed NPL interim committee, Franco Cosmos, said the decision did not meet the ‘audi alteram partem’ rule, a basic condition of fairness in any legal dispute.
The ‘audi alteram partem’ rule is a Latin term, meaning “to listen to the other side”, or “to let the other side be heard as well”, with the principle being that no person should be judged without a fair hearing, in which each party is given an opportunity to respond to the evidence against them.