BA lobbies against ‘premature’ NPL kick-off… as reasons for delay become clearer

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Carlos Kambaekwa

Windhoek-Following months of uncertainty and speculation as to why the country’s flagship football league, the Namibia Premiership (NPL), has not started and when it actually will – the picture is now becoming clearer.

In a strongly worded letter by Katutura giants Black Africa, leaked to New Era Sport, the Gemengde outfit heaped tribute and praises on the good work done by the now apparently defunct NPL Interim Committee.

“We wish them all good fortune for the remainder of their mandate leading up to the Elective AGM. However, We, Black Africa Sport Club, have learnt through the media, without proper consultation and engagements that the official kick-off of the NPL is Friday, 12th May 2017”.

The most successful Namibian team in the modern era said the announcement was made by the Interim Committee and is public knowledge that kick-off is on May 12. It further argues that the NPL Interim Committee, in all its wisdom does not have a constitutional mandate or authority to take such decision, let alone making such announcement concerning the NPL.

“This decision can only be made and endorsed by the NPL Board of Governors (BoG) meeting, slated for Saturday, 8th April 2017… There was, therefore, no prior consultation with the 16 members of the NPL to engage and ascertain their readiness as a collective to subsequently agree to kick-off the League on the 12th May 2017,” reads part of the letter verbatim.

Black Africa also raised a number of serious concerns, noting that the league must be launched properly before the season commences and that sponsorship agreements must be signed between the sponsor and sponsoree before kick-off.

”The financial value and duration of the sponsorship must be announced at the official launch, while the monthly grant allocation for each club must be clearly spelled out in the sponsorship agreement.

“Furthermore, the sponsorship obligations [on-field branding, kit branding and pre-match/post match interviews] of the NPL and clubs towards the various sponsors must be clearly defined, and likewise, the obligations of sponsors should also be clearly defined in the sponsorship agreement.”

It requires the chairman of the NPL to sign the sponsorship agreement with the respective sponsors, but in the event of the NPL not having a designated chairman to sign the sponsorship agreement, the club requested that the forthcoming NPL Elective AGM first elect a new chairman who will then sign the sponsorship agreement.

The budget, based on the sponsorship allocation, must be tabled and approved at the Elective AGM before start of the league, whilst fixtures must be tabled and approved by the Elective AGM before kick-off.

“We understand and have appreciation for the urgency to commence the league and we also understand that Namibians are hungry for local football, wishing to see their players in action.

However, lack of consultation with clubs regarding the kick-off as envisaged for the 12th May 2017, creates the following logistical challenges: players’ contracts need to be attended to, players’ transfers and inter-club movements need to be sorted out.

“We have no training fields to practise on in preparation for the kick-off, sponsors kit and branding exposure must be sorted out.

Against this background Black Africa recommended that the Elective AGM be held on July 29; that the official launch of the league be on August 1; that the Elective AGM elect a chairman and Exco, approve the new sponsorship agreement and budget, and approve the league fixtures and season calendar.

The letter, signed by club stalwart Cassius Moetie, further proposed “that official kick-off commences on the 4th of August 2017.”

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