NC failed to normalise football-Kauta

By Michael Uugwanga

AS fingers continue to point at the Namibia Premier League (NPL) – in particular its chairperson Patrick Kauta – for the fact that there has been no football since the conclusion of the 2018/2019 soccer season in May last year, the Namibian Football Association (NFA)/Normalisation Committee (NC) is at fault for not stabilising the administration of football in the country, as it was mandated to do by FIFA.

This was said by Kauta in an interview with Confidente Sport this week, as he continues to fight the NPL’s suspension from the NFA as a member, after the NFA accused the NPL for bringing football into disrepute for its failure to adhere to the mother body’s directive to bring back into the league two relegated clubs, Orlando Pirates and Civics.

The dispute between the NPL and NFA has been filed before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Both the NPL and NFA constitutions clearly state that the bottom three clubs in the NPL will be relegated to a lower division, but this rule was overruled by the NFA due to the fact that there was no lower division (first division) from which to promote three teams to replace the bottom three.

The other team in question – besides Pirates and Civics – is Young African FC, which faces expulsion after they were found to have registered a foreign player with a false identification during the 2017/2018 season.

Discussing the details, Kauta also said he never asked the Board of Governors (BoGs) or the congress to relegate the three teams, but said the BOG and the Normalisation Committee both agreed on the relegation scenario.

FIFA’s Normalisation Committee’s tenure came to an end last month when Ranga Haikali was voted in as NFA president after winning at the elective congress on 22 February.

In his speech as newly elected NFA president, Haikali made it clear that the association was not in any position to uplift the suspension until the NPL adhered to the same directive given by the NC.

“I never asked BOG or congress to relegate the three teams.

The BOG and NC met on 11 September 2019 and agreed that relegation was automatic in terms of rule 1.

1.1 on the promotion and relegation. Therefore, the three teams were relegated at the end of the league programme in May 2019.

The BOG and NC further debated and agreed that it was in the mandate of NC to issue the rules for promotion and relegation of the 2019/2020 season, that these rules will reach NPL for its congress scheduled for 21 September 2019,” Kauta said this week.

“The NC promised that these rules were at hand. NPL and first division must kick off together and NPL is prepared to consider lending the first division funds until FIFA releases such funding to NC to enable simultaneously commencement of both leagues. To this end NC was supposed to send a budget, which they never did. NC reverted in the morning of NPL congress (21 September 2019) that they were still consulting on the promotion and relegation rules.

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“That loan funding wasn’t necessary.

“And in the same letter asked that the NPL congress promotes Civics and Pirates and that Young African will be dealt with on appeal. Mr Haikali was present, of which the NPL resolved that it had no power to admit relegated teams. As a result, I adjourned congress to Thursday 26 September 2019 for members to submit changes to the NPL constitution, specifically Articles 10 and 63 to empower congress to admit the relegated teams.

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On 26 September Ranga was again present, no team submitted any constitutional amendment, consequently NPL congress resolved that Civics and Pirates could not be admitted as members,” the NP chairman said in a lengthy interview.