CAS sets a date
The NFA and the NPL will hear their fate soon as CAS has set an official date for settling their never-ending battle.
11 January 2021 | Sports
The Namibia Football Association (NFA) and the Namibia Premier League's long-awaited appeal hearing will take place on 4 March, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has announced. In a statement released by CAS on 6 January, the independent sports body revealed that it has scheduled the appeal hearing to take place via video conference and that the two parties need to confirm their availability today.
Case pending from
The pending case stems from the fact that 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.
This because no football was played in the First and Second Divisions. This means that only the Premier League was active but for the two other leagues, football was at a standstill. The NPL under Patrick Kauta refused to adhere to this directive and was then kicked out of the structures of the NFA for violating NFA directives. The NPL then registered an appeal with the CAS in 2019, maintaining that their expulsion was illegal.
However, before talking the case to CAS, the NPL took the matter to the Namibian High Court and Supreme Court, losing both times as these courts had no jurisdiction to hear their appeal. During the wait for a resolution of their dispute, the NFA went ahead to organise a top-tier Fifa-endorsed league which is expected to start in February.
At some point the NPL applied to the Namibia Sports Commission for recognition as a sport body, and also stated that they would start a league of their own. This too was rejected by FIFA, which stated that there can only be one league in Namibia.
With a date for the hearing having been set, it remains to be seen whether the NPL will be reinstated or whether the NFA will continue their operations without the NPL. A local football pundit who refused to be named said it is unlikely that NFA will lose.
“I think at this point in time everyone is tired. I really think CAS will throw the case out in favour of NFA,” he said.