Windhoek - Thousands of soccer players are holding their breath as they wait for a newly-appointed five-member committee to break a debilitating deadlock between the Namibian Premier League (NPL) and Namibian Football Association (NFA).
The Namibian Sports Commission tasked
Roswitha Gamachas, Thomas Mbeli, Heritha Mugoba, Walter Don, Bro-Mathew Shinguandja and Stanley Mutoya to end a stand-off that saw the NFA this year expel the the NPL as an affiliate.
In effect, the NFA put an end to the league as run by the NPL and said it would create new competitive structures.
This week, Sports Minister Agnes Tjongerero said the state of the beautiful game had plummeted alarmingly and threatened the livelihoods of thousands, hence appointment of the committee.
“The committee will be authorised with the opportunity to conduct its business in accordance with the terms of reference. It is expected that the committee will produce a report of its findings upon conclusion of their mission,” she said.
The committee has to swiftly find ways of reconciling the NFA led by Ranga Haikali and the Patrick Kauta-led NPL.
The NFA expelled the NPL after the two failed to agree on promotion and relegation modalities.
Sports commentator Hesron Kapanga described the appointment of the committee as a step in the right direction. “Under the circumstances the committee is the best solution to go with. I would say this was long overdue.
“It is going to be difficult for the two parties to find each other because there seem to be different interests. The other challenge is also that the current impasse is driven by egos than the best interest of football,” Kapanga aid.
He added that the intervention by the Namibian government through the Sports Commission could not be interpreted as state interference in football.
World football governing body FIFA routinely suspends FAs for government interference.
“If you consider that when the national tea travels they need not less than N$1 million, and the government is responsible for pumping all these funds, then you can understand why the committee was appointed.”
He also pointed out that the committee was only seeking to broker peace between the NFA and the NPL and this was not a case of the government running football.