African Stars and NPL Make Peace

The game of football was the winner as African Stars and the Namibia Premier League announced their truce at the NFA’s Football House on Thursday afternoon after a protracted legal tussle stemming from an abandoned NPL match between Stars and Orlando Pirates back in April.

Announcing the news at a media conference at the Football House Conference Hall, NPL chairperson Johnny Doeseb said the parties held a final meeting on Thursday morning at which they agreed, unreservedly, to safeguard the integrity of football.

“Today football is the winner. Football is greater than all of us. Stars will withdraw the pending court case. Each of the parties that went to court will have to harbour their own legal costs. In addition, Stars will have to discontinue their protest with the NFA on the conduct of the NPL throughout this unfortunate saga,” said Doeseb.

The chairman added that there were no personal grudges between him and Stars’ chairman Sydney Martin as widely speculated and that the lessons they had learned during this process were coming in handy.

“Sydney wanted justice for Stars and we were convinced what we did was the right thing. But overall, we all agree now that the game’s integrity should be upheld at all times and we learned good and bad lessons. We are now looking forward to the conclusion of the new NPL statutes which will be ratified by the NFA congress in December this year, while on 27 September, we are going to approve the new NFA constitution and remember that we have to do it for the game and for not any individual,” revealed Doeseb.

African Stars board member Mbakumua Hengari, standing in for chairman Martin, said it was important for the parties to move forward in unison.

“This announcement has the blessing of African Stars as we see no purpose in continuing with the court case and the protest. These two moves are now abandoned and we are ready to concentrate on the game,” Hengari stated.

NFA secretary general Barry Rukoro expressed the Association’s appreciation to the parties: “We are all glad that it is all over. It has been a troubled route since April 16 and what I saw today between the parties was indeed in the spirit of football and I’m happy the game won. We now know that the rules didn’t discriminate and it is now time to tighten up our rules to ensure that moving forward we do things better.”

On 16 April, African Stars were losing 2-0 to Orlando Pirates when the floodlights failed and the NPL then decided that the remaining eight minutes should be played to complete the encounter, with Stars disputing and calling for the match to be replayed in its totality. Legal battles ensued and the NPL subsequently suspended Stars from the league, but after an appeal Stars were reinstated on 27 August by the NFA Appeals Committee.

It was also announced that the 20142015 MTC Premiership season will start on 1 October.


Source : The Namibian