African Stars Case to Go to Arbitration

The protracted case between African Stars and the Namibia Premier League regarding the outcome of Stars’ match against Orlando Pirates on 16 April, will now be decided by an arbitration committee, after Stars’ appeal was dismissed on Saturday.

An Appeals Committee set up by the Namibia Football Association dismissed Stars’ appeal on technical grounds, but in terms of Rule 38 of the NFA constitution, Stars can still go for arbitration.

Although none of the parties involved wanted to elaborate on the nature of the ‘technicality’ it is understood that Stars’ case was dismissed since it was lodged against the NFA and not the NPL.

The chief administrator of the NPL Joshua Hoebeb, said that the NFA will now appoint an arbitration committee to decide on the matter.

“African Stars submitted their grievances to the NFA who will appoint an arbitration committee to look into the matter. There will be a verdict within five days so we will still have time to finish the league in time,” he said.

Hoebeb said that in terms of the NFA constitution, football matters should not be decided in court.

“The NFA statutes clearly indicate that football matters should not go to court. We need to exhaust all avenues in football, and if that does not help, thereafter we can go to the Namibia Sport Commission.”

The match on 16 April was abandoned eight minutes from time when the floodlights failed. Pirates were leading 2-0 at the time and the NPL subsequently decided that the last eight minutes had to be replayed on 6 May.

The replay however never took place as Stars obtained a court interdict on 6 May to stop the resumption of the match, and according to a subsequent court ruling on 20 May, the case had to be decided by an appeals committee.

With the appeals committee having dismissed Stars’ case, they will now have to agree to an arbitration panel with the NFA according to Hoebeb.

“The parties must agree to the arbitration panel and if they don’t agree the Namibia Sport Commission will appoint an arbitration committee,” he said.

Hoebeb remained adamant that the dragging case would not derail the completion of the league which is supposed to finish on 14 June when the final round of matches will be played.

“Black Africa’s outstanding match against Blue Boys will take place this Sunday, June 8, while the final round of the Namibia Premier League will take place next Saturday, 14 June. If we don’t receive anything from Stars in time, we will make an announcement on the matter,” he said.

At this stage, the NPL’s original decision that the last eight minutes of the match have to be replayed, still stands, with the result that the match has not been concluded.

According to the last NPL log standing issued by the NPL last week, Stars are leading Black Africa on goal difference, with both teams on 42 points from 20 matches.

Source : The Namibian