CAS date creates uncertainty

The letter which the CAS recently wrote, informing the NFA and NPL about a hearing date, is alleged to have created uncertainty at the Football House.

12 January 2021 | Sports

JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

WINDHOEK



Namibia Football Association (NFA) president Ranga Haikali has denied allegations suggesting that the recent letter in which the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) scheduled an appeal hearing date between the association and expelled Namibia Premier League (NPL) has caused panic among members.

Haikali's comment comes after a senior source in the NFA revealed that the association could be forced to cancel their plans of starting their own football league until the judgment is delivered.

CAS revealed that it has scheduled the appeal hearing to take place via video conference and that the two parties need to confirm their availability.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source alleged that the Namibian football body fears that they could lose a case in which they are accused of illegally suspending the NPL from its structures.



Uncertain

In December, the NFA congress adopted the proposed dates for the restart of the season, with the Namibia Football Premiere League (NFPL) set to start from the end of February 2021 to August 2021, subject to Fifa approval.

“I believe among some of the plans which could come to a halt is the starting of the NFPL which was scheduled to start in February.

“This is something very serious and it can definitely ruin the association's plans if it does not rule in our favour,” the source said.

Haikali however rebuffed the allegations, stating that the association remains unfazed by the latest CAS developments.

Haikali maintained that the league will start in February and nothing or no one can stop it from taking place.

“These cases have been dragging on for way too long and they will not stop the league from starting.

“As the football association, we are not worried about the outcome of the hearing because we can't predict what will happen.

“The most important thing here is that football will have to start as we promised,” Haikali said.

The case

The pending case stems from the fact that the NFA expelled the NPL from its structures last year for not adhering to its directives.

The directives were made by the NFA under the authority of the Fifa Normalisation Committee – stating that no promotion or relegation will take place in Namibian football for the 2019/2020 season, which means teams that were in relegation positions in the 2018/2019 Namibia Premier league season were to form part of the new season.

“The thing is that the NPL is fighting for a suspension but they are also expelled. This means that even if CAS rules in their favour for the suspension, they still have to battle for an expulsion. That is the reasons why we will not let football remain at halt because of cases that will probably drag on for too long,” Haikali added.

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