Sunday Oct 13, 2019. 15:00
Namibia’s Premier League might lose its sponsor unless it resolves its dispute with the committee running the game in the country as football in the southern African country continues to be mired in crisis.
The Namibia Premier League was last month suspended by the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee that is running the game in Namibia — following disputes in the Namibia Football Association left the administration of the game wracked by personal clashes.
The normalisation committee suspended the NPL last month because its refusal to comply with a directive to allow relegated Orlando Pirates and Civics to remain in the league for the coming season.
Last season ended in chaos as Young Africans were expelled for playing a Zimbabwean defaulter, using a false name, and the two Windhoek clubs – both former champions – relegated but with no teams coming up from the lower leagues, which were not played.
The league want to start the new season with just 13 teams instead of 16 teams but the FIFA committee, made up of independent experts from outside the game, said they were should be no relegation and promotion as per an earlier directive with the backing of world football’s governing body.
By not heeding the instruction, the league is now suspended and sponsors MTC — a mobile operator — have warned the NPL to resolve the impasse by October 21 or forfeit the 15-million Namibian Dollars reserved for the final season of the three-year sponsorship.
“Given these developments, and the negative brand reputation concerns we highlighted in our previous correspondence, MTC hereby gives the NPL 14 days to amicably resolve this stand-off between itself and Fifa Normalisation Committee on all matters that are prohibiting the commencement of the league season, failure which MTC will reconsider its sponsorship and communicate such to the NPL,” said MTC spokesperson Tim Ekandjo.