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NPL Is A Past History

NFA acting secretary general Franco Cosmos. Photo: NAMPA
The Namibia Football Association (NFA) is done with its ex, the Namibia Premier League (NPL), and will not attend any reconciliatory meetings set up by the committee of eminent persons (CEP).

By implication, the NFA will not change its position on the NPL's expulsion or plans to establish a replacement topflight division, says NFA acting secretary general Franco Cosmos. “As far as the NFA is concerned, the NPL does not exist as our member, they are expelled and we have no business with them. We are moving on,” Cosmos said yesterday.

“We have not been contacted. If the committee [the CEP] says they want to see us with the NPL, I don't think that is doable. Separately, we will see them,” he said. “We also want them to understand where we are coming from, why the decision was taken, and that it was done above board.”

In contrast, the NPL on Sunday welcomed the committee, which could hand them a route back to the mainstream football scene. The CEP consists of Heritah Nankole Muyoba, Bro-Matthew Shinguadja, Stanley Mutoya, Roswitha Gomachas, Walter Donn and Thomas Mbeeli. They are tasked with mending the severed relationship between the two football bodies by early October. The CEP, however, cannot compel either party to do its bidding, which somewhat renders it redundant.

The six-member independent mediating body is the brainchild of minister of sport, youth and national service Agnes Tjongarero, who last week instructed the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) to appoint the 'experts' to find lasting solutions to the country's perennial football problems.

The move stems from the NSC's board's inability to pronounce itself on the NPL's request to be admitted as a second national football governing body or professional league unattached to the NFA. The commission does not list more than one national federation per sport code.

Extensive fruitless talks facilitated by Tjongarero, her predecessor, Erastus Uutoni, and the sports commission have been held with both sides since last year. “We don't want to come across as arrogant, but that committee has no teeth to bite. If they want us to give our side of the story, then we will, but it's not changeable,” Cosmos said.

The FA is pushing ahead to form a new premiership.

On Friday, it reopened the application window until 18 September for clubs “who wish to resort under the NFA Top Tier League”. Cosmos rejected suggestions that the extension is due to poor interest in the project. The foregoing signing-up process, which lapsed on 22 August, was laced with controversy as some clubs divided into factions over the raging football war.

Ten of the 16 clubs that made up the NPL during the 2018/19 season submitted applications. However, four of the clubs also reportedly support the Business and Intellectual Property Authority-registered 'professional' NPL, which was formed in response to the NPL losing its NFA membership in July.

“We don't want to be accused that we are advancing certain teams' agendas or are excluding certain teams. Our intention is to build. We are giving them a lifeline,” said Cosmos.
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