NFA makes U-turn as it dissolves ad hoc committee…gives power back to the clubs

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WINDHOEK, 18 October 2015 - Action in the air between Black Africa Football Club midfielder Muna Katupose (R) and Knowledge Mutyoraringa of Tigers (L) during Round Nine of the 2015/16 Namibia Premier League at the Sam Nujoma Stadium. (Photo by: Hesron Kapanga) NAMPA

Otniel Hembapu

Windhoek-In another sudden twist of events, the leadership of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) have been forced to bury their heads in shame and wipe the egg off their faces after it communicated to all NPL clubs that it will dissolve the highly disputed ad hoc committee and hand the league powers back to the clubs.

In a leaked communiqué sent to all chairpersons of the sixteen Namibia Premier League (NPL) clubs on Tuesday – which New Era Sport is also in possession of – the NFA said after due consultations around the dragging impasse between the association and various top clubs, especially with regard to the legality of the NFA-initiated ad hoc committee, they have decided to dissolve the committee and give powers back to the league’s Board of Governors (BoG).

The BoG is the NPL’s governing and highest decision-making body and comprises representatives from all sixteen league clubs.

When former NPL chairman Johnny ‘JJD’ Doeseb suddenly resigned from the helm of the league, the league’s sixteen clubs were forced to establish a temporary structure (in the form of an interim committee) that would oversee the daily affairs of the NPL and equally continue the process of engaging potential sponsors for the league to kick off.

But through careful inspection it was later discovered that the NPL’s outdated constitution did not make provision for the clubs to set up an interim committee to run the affairs of the league and as a result the interim committee’s powers and legality to further negotiate with potential sponsors was compromised.

As a quick-fix solution the NFA opted to intervene (or perhaps interfered) by establishing an ad hoc committee that would take over the running of the NPL’s daily activities and negotiations with potential sponsors, as well as ensure the league elects a new legally constituted leadership.

But the majority of clubs rejected the NFA’s involvement, labelling it as pure high-jacking and interfering in the league’s affairs, and further questioned the legality of the NFA setting up an ad hoc committee to run the league.

The impasse between the clubs and the NFA dragged on for months and also resulted in various high-level meetings with President Hage Geingob and the line minister – but no practical solution and harmony were really forthcoming from both sides, despite Geingob’s humble efforts to unite the two camps.

In the public arena, various well-read legal experts equally questioned the NFA’s involvement in the process, especially the jurisdiction of the ad hoc committee over the NPL’s affairs and the NFA’s perceived stance of being the ‘alpha and omega’ of Namibian football as far as various laws and legal interpretations are concerned.

After months of public bashing, the NFA this week finally gave in to the demands of the clubs for it to distance itself from the internal affairs of the NPL as the clubs believe they have tried and tested legal frameworks to guide them through these challenging times as opposed to the NFA’s direct interference.

In Tuesday’s letter, the NFA indicated its decision to withdraw from the process and let the clubs themselves drive the entire process but strictly pointed out to a few aspects that need to be attended to by the NPL BoG as soon as possible.

One of the pressing items indicated in the NFA’s letter is for the BoG to call up a meeting on or before July 15 to discuss the new NPL constitution and set up a date for an extraordinary general meeting, where the new constitution would be adopted. The letter further indicated that the BoG should ensure that the new constitution is adopted not later than August 19, 2017.

Furthermore, the NFA’s letter instructed the BoG to ensure that a new and substantive leadership for the league is elected not later than September 9, 2017.

As it currently stands, the ball is now back in the court of the clubs and it’s up to them to unite, hold hands and craft a common destiny for the sake of our stranded footballers and the country at large.

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