…Country’s top club ready for action
Tigers Football Club has finally registered players ahead of their first MTC Namibia Premier League 2017/18 season as they take on Young Africans this weekend. The title holders disregarded their first game last weekend, a move that has been viewed to have brought the name of football into disrepute.
This week, league Administrator Tovey Hoebeb confirmed that the football giants have finally completed their registration of the team and players for the league. Without going into details, Hoebeb also added that there is a legal process going on with regards to their [Tigers] absence from their first game. “There is a legal process going on so I cannot comment further on that. The reasons why they did not turn up are part of their defense so I cannot discuss that.” At the launch of the league last week, League Chairman Patrick Kauta invited all 16 clubs to be part of the league, saying that the league would kickoff with or without some clubs. He also said teams that choose to stay away from the league will be making themselves guilty and bringing the name of football in disrepute.
Orlando Pirates, Black Africa and Tigers were part of a group of teams that sought legal advice and clarity from the NPL, asking for a postponement of the league to give them more time to prepare. The clubs also claimed that they had no expectations that the league could start during this year as the lawfully announced and communicated football season calendar by the NFA in accordance with FIFA rules is February to November each year. Orlando Pirate and Black Africa honored their fixtures last weekend.
“The league administration has not contacted us [Tigers] yet on the issue about us staying away on the weekend games. They had 72 hours to charge us but they did not do so,” said Lukas Nanyemba from Tigers.
He added; “How do you turn up for a match when you have not registered any players and the team itself? And let us please use some sense of logic, the dates we were given to register players were very limited.”
In a letter dated 29 September 2017, the NPL wrote to Tigers informing them that the club has not submitted their players’ registration documents. The same letter reminded the club of the deadline to be honoured in terms of NPL Manual on Rules and Regulations Rule 23-24. In response to the letter, Tigers pointed to the decision taken at the NFA Congress in 2016 to run the football calendar from February to November annually. The club further wrote back seeking for clarity as to for which season they were now being reminded to register for. According to Nanyemba, they are yet to receive a response on their query.
“Earlier this year we registered our players for the league and it never kicked off. It is not that we are trying to be difficult but we are just following the rules. The rules are clear and we should respect them. We cannot be expected to do abnormal things,” he said.
Nanyemba concluded that one needs to take a thorough look into the way things are being done in the NPL. He highlighted abnormalities such as the sudden league calendar change and confirmation such as that of the sponsors only being done at the very last minutes.