Tigers, NPL feud still brewing … lawyers roped in

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Otniel Hembapu

Windhoek-The ongoing grudge between MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) defending champions Tigers FC and the league’s headship appears to be far from over, after Tigers recently wrote to the NPL through their lawyers to air their grievances.

The feud between Tigers and the league administrators stems from the club’s earlier decision to boycott their first two opening league matches against Citizens and Unam FC, a decision which is said to have backfired after the league charged them for misconduct as a result of their failure to honour their league obligations and bringing league proceedings into total disrepute.

In a communiqué between Tigers and the NPL, which is in New Era Sport’s possession, Tigers wrote to the league, through their lawyers Sisa Namandje & Co, indicting their refusal to formally recognize NPL’s charges for their no-show and further dismissing and undermining the powers and authority of the NPL’s league administrator Tovey Hoebeb.

The opening pointer of Tigers’ letter dated 1 November 2017 reads verbatim: “In terms of article 56 of the Namibia Premier League constitution, specifically article 56 (4), it says the prosecutor who is appointed by the secretariat and endorsed by the BoG has the power and authority to prosecute, to take decisions as to whether it is appropriate for the NPL to prosecute any alleged acts of misconduct.”

In the second pointer, the letter says: “Mr Hoebeb you are not the prosecutor, nor have you been endorsed by the
BoG … your conducts therefore ultra vires to the constitution of the NPL and are therefore illegal, unlawful and constitute a misconduct against you under the circumstances, for acting beyond any powers you may have.”

The third and fourth pointers of the letter further maintain Tigers’ position not to bow to the charges, saying Hoebeb’s title as a league administrator bears no application whatsoever in the constitution of the NPL, therefore Hoebeb has no standing whatsoever to act against Tigers.

“We therefore advise you to withdraw your purported charges against our client and act in accordance with the constitution. In any event our client denies any misconduct purportedly committed by our client and specifically state and deny the unlawful and illegitimate charges brought or preferred against our client,” reads the Sisa Namandje & Co letter.

Reacting to the Tigers letter, two NPL executive members, who asked not to be named, labelled the defending champions’ letter as ‘politics at play and pure attention-seeking’ and further asked why should Tigers choose to engage the NPL leadership through lawyers while existing internal avenues are open for discourse between clubs and the league.

“This is a purely simple matter and it really sizzles me as to why Tigers have chosen to reply through lawyers while the NPL wrote directly to them as an affiliate. It shows you that they (Tigers) are not interested in reaching an amicable solution but instead they want to cause unwanted havoc. I mean the league has not yet taken a decision with regard to Tigers’ fate but what the league did was to alert the club about their misconduct of not showing up for their matches and the NPL did that through internal channels, but rather Tigers chose to run to lawyers instead of directly engaging the NPL to sort out the issue,” said the one source.

The other member said: “What does Tigers mean when they say Tovey (Hoebeb) is not fit to charge them and his decision was not endorsed by the BoG? Which secretariat are they referring to if Tovey is the head of the NPL secretariat and all his decisions are naturally endorsed by the league’s BoG and executive committee? This is a simple matter that can easily be resolved at an NPL disciplinary hearing where the club will state their case and a decision will then be taken but how do we resolve it if Tigers have become permanent visitors at the offices of Sisa Namandje – all in the name of NPL?”

“Look at the log standing that we have been releasing – it clearly shows that Tigers are short of two matches and those results are still pending the disciplinary hearing outcome. So what Tigers need to do is leave the lawyers out of this story and rather focus on stating their case in front of a disciplinary hearing committee, and let the disciplinary process decide the way forward. In the event they are not satisfied with the outcome of the disciplinary hearing. The NFA is there to assist and guide them but this story of Tigers running to lawyers while we have internal football remedies is really bothersome,” he
concluded.

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