Thursday 17 June 2021
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NPL/NFA fight continues unabated

  • MTC steers clear
  • Soccer season could start on 10 June

While the boardroom fight between the Namibian Football Association(NFA) and the Namibian Premier League(NPL) authorities continues to throw local football in limbo, potential sponsor MTC has made it clear that it does not want to be involved in the tussle. In an email communication seen by The Patriot between MTC board chair Elvis Nashilongo and NPL administrator Tovey Hoebeb yesterday, Nashilongo said MTC has no intentions to be involved in the NFA/NPL issues and “wishes to be kept out of their official correspondences.”  “It may be of interest for you to note that MTC Board resolution on NPL sponsorship directed management to deal with the Interim Committee which allegedly has now been annulled. MTC management has no mandate to engage the NFA on sponsorship as yet and that is for obvious reasons. I respectfully urge you to keep MTC out of this subject,” said Nashilongo. MTC maintains that it will only present its sponsorship once a recognized body is constituted to sign-off the sponsorship and subsequently enter into a sponsorship agreement.

A source close to MTC said this development sends a different and unpleasant wave to the sponsors. “Who would want to put out their money where the leadership has clearly crumbled? This is the reason why MTC pulled out in the first place. This was almost a done deal but with the latest developments, we cannot predict what will happen. A football association never runs a league. We all know this is not a genuine rescue attempt but an effort to be closer to the money,” said the source. This came barely a day after Hoebeb had written to NFA secretary general Barry Rukoro informing him that “the Adhoc committee established by NFA is mandated to engage the sponsors to ensure that sponsorship negotiations continue and are concluded smoothly.”  Hoebeb said the NPL Board of Directors held an urgent meeting on Tuesday to give feedback on resolutions taken at the 28 April meeting between NFA’s executive committee, NFA Emergency Committee and the Interim Committee of NPL. “We confirm the readiness of the majority member Clubs for the League kickoff date as announced by the Interim Committee on 12 May 2017. However, there is a request to defer the date if all stake holders are in agreement to 10 June 2017 to formalize all logistical arrangements  and official launch of the league for a smooth and successful kickoff and the registration of players,” said Hoebeb. Last week, The Patriot reported that negotiations between the NPL Interim Committee and willing sponsor MTC had come to a standstill after the telecommunications company requested the committee to seek legal blessings from NFA mandating it to enter into a sponsorship agreement.

NFA made it clear that it never recognized the Interim Committee was. NFA President Frans Mbidi told this publication last week that he is ready to sign off the sponsorship money on the committee’s behalf because such powers are not vested in them.  The development of NFA’s stance on the matter created public scrutiny with many questioning how the same body mandated to steer the Johnny Doeseb-abandoned-ship forward now becomes invalid. The Interim Committee comprised of Chairperson Franco Cosmos (Blue Waters FC), Evaristus Evaristus (UNAM FC), Gabriel Tjombe (Eleven Arrows FC), Victor Hamunyela (Civics FC) and Ranga Haikali (Black Africa FC).  Last week the football fraternity was served another shock move after NFA nullified the legality of the Interim Committee and substituted it with an NFA Adhoc Committee that is spearheaded by NFA executive Rodger Kambatuku. This means, Kambatuku who is on the NFA payroll for the Competitions Committee, will head the NPL affairs moving forward albeit on a temporary basis.

Mbidi reportedly justified Kambatuku’s appointment saying since “he[Kambatuku] is in charge of the competition committee, it thus makes him the suitable candidate for the job.”  Franco Comsos, who has now been placed under Kambatuku wrote to the NFA saying he appreciates the appointment but unfortunately cannot take up his new job. “I am not accepting their appointment. I am not an NFA member and cannot serve on an NFA Adhoc Committee,” said Cosmos. Despite the NPL being an affiliate to the NFA, the league remains an autonomous body. According to the NFA Statutes, the Executive Committee has the right to establish an adhoc committee and appoint a chairman but the statutes does not give any clarity that the chairman should be from the NFA.

“Now it is all clear that the issue here is all about the money. The NFA wants to be close to the money and will do anything to appoint one of their members to run the NPL.  What is also obvious here is that there are certain heads in the NFA who want to use their powers to influence decisions and there are also heads in the NPL who see this opportunistic move and do not want to see it go through.  Never in my life have I seen a league being run by the mother body. They just want the money and to push certain people in the NPL structures to make sure that they are safe come Congress,” said a source who preferred anonymity.

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