A serial interpretative handicap amongst our sports honchos

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carlos

Needless to point out that it’s now clearly evident that those pulling the strings at General Mohammed Murtalla Avenue are finding it extremely difficult to interpret the basic laws that govern their association.

It’s now a well-documented secret that our football is on the threshold of collapsing into absolute obscurity. Of course, it’s not possible for everyone to put their own interpretation on the law, and while dreams are open to interpretation, it can obviously be explained in many different ways.

The Namibia Sports Commission’s (NSC) amateurish or rather laughable handling of the potentially damaging though self-inflicted dispute between the country’s football governing body, the Namibia Football Association and its core affiliate, the Namibia Premier League (NPL), gives serious cause for concern.

What really boggles the mind is that the same pattern of the dispute with the real bone of contention has been unintentionally shifted aside at the expense of gross technical errors committed by all parties in the mix of things.

In what can be interpreted as a ‘Kangaroo Court’ decision, and rightly so, the country’s presiding sports body, NSC was caught completely off side by the entire exercise.

It’s believed that the NSC summoned the respondents in the said dispute, in this case the NFA, to a hastily arranged disciplinary hearing to lend them an ear to advance their defense in the absence of the complainant, the contested NPL interim committee. Really?

Logic suggests – or rather commonsense dictates – that the Commission, as the presiding sports body, erred big time and should have dealt with the case differently.

For starters, NSC was not supposed to be the adjudicator in the dispute between the two parties – it should have appointed a Dispute Resolution Chamber to adjudicate. Secondly, why was the ‘audi alterem partem’ rule not applied?

The definition of the ‘audi alterem partem’ rule is to “listen to the other side”, or “let the other side be heard as well”, with the basic principle that no person should be judged without a fair hearing in which each party is given an opportunity to respond to the evidence presented against them.

Surely, these are basic, simple and clear procedures that should not escape any sober-minded person, but if those entrusted to keep an eagle eye on our sport codes are found wanting in this regard, then yours truly is afraid our sporting fraternity is losing the plot.
Would the author stand accused of being ignorant, or biased by concluding that the poor unsuspecting NPL interim committee was charged and found guilty in absentia? I’m just wondering.

For the umpteenth time, sport authorities must learn that due process should be allowed to run its course when it comes to disputes, whether minor or major reported cases. To put it bluntly, those who administer the game of football in our land of the brave have been holding the game hostage. Period!

As a result of these unnecessary and seemingly unending big ego battles, the real McCoys of the beautiful-turned-ugly-game, football, are the ones suffering irreparable psychological damage to their dignity and ultimate livelihood.

It should also be noted that the four-member NSC delegation at the said gathering that dealt with the matter did not even form a quorum, for that matter – thus rendering the decision unconstitutional. In other words, another technical blunder was committed by the supposed overseers over the sport. So, where to from here?

My humble advice: let us please bring to a closure this circus and let’s play by the rules and not twist the rules as it suits certain people.

Remember the old adage, that when two elephant bulls fight, the grass suffers most. In this case, footballers and their respective dependents are feeling the punch as they struggle to keep hunger at arm’s length.

In conclusion, it goes beyond comprehension why the heavily represented NFA delegation under the stewardship of president Frans Mbidi could not point out these basic discrepancies during the deliberations – if they were genuinely dealing in good faith.

Seriously, for simplicity sake, the game of football is a competition between two teams comprising of 11 players each over two halves. There must be an opposition, because you can’t play against yourself.

Can anyone out there please tell me whether my learned colleagues at General Murtulla Mohammed Avenue applied their minds by allowing the NFA to enter the field of play without an opponent in sight and still be declared the winner? Against whom?
I rest my case.

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