Dust Won’t Settle On Abandoned Match

As the sun was about to set Saturday afternoon on the much-anticipated outcome of the African Stars appeal, the hopes of thousands of Reds supporters were dealt a knockout blow when the 3-member Namibia Football Association (NFA) Appeals Committee dismissed the appeal on a bizarre technicality.

At the centre of the storm is an earlier verdict delivered by the Namibia Premier League (NPL) in the aftermath of the abandoned MTC Premiership match between Stars and Orlando Pirates that ended prematurely as a result of a power outage at the Sam Nujoma Stadium with the Ghosts leading 2-0 with eight minutes left on the clock in addition to the referee’s optional time.

After deliberations, the NPL Management Committee (MC) ordered that the abandoned remaining minutes must be completed. However, the powers that be at Diaz House did not take kindly to the outcome and questioned the rationale behind the decision.

The MC’s decision is in relation to the law that says the interruption of the match must have been man-made and Stars sought clarity as to how the MC arrived at the conclusion.

The Reds filed an urgent appeal with the country’s football controlling body the NFA, after an earlier request to the NPL to have the matter reviewed fell on deaf ears. The appeal followed in the wake of an urgent court interdict instituted by Stars after the NPL refused to have the case reviewed.

The Reds found refuge in the FIFA statutes and filed an appeal with the mother body but were stopped right in their tracks when the Appeals Committee dismissed the case on the basis that the complainant cited NFA as first respondent instead of the NPL. In response, an irked African Stars chairman and local business mogul Sidney Martin vowed to roll with the punches. “This is just another lame excuse aimed at avoiding to own up to their misinterpretation of the rules governing the game of football. “In all honesty, I don’t really think an oversight on the sequence of respondents should be used as a weapon to dismiss our appeal. That’s absurd and irrelevant but rest assured, we will explore all available avenues to have justice prevail even if we have to approach FIFA on the matter,” charged an irate Martin.

Source : New Era