NPL Moves to Suspend Stars

The Namibia Premier League has informed African Stars that they intend to suspend the club from its roster for allegedly bringing football into disrepute.

The move comes in the wake of NPL chief sponsor MTC’s threat to revoke its multi-million dollar sponsorship if the rebellious club is not called to order.

Stars caused consternation within football circles last week, when they threatened to drag MTC into their High Court dispute with the NPL if the telecommunications company supported the league in hosting their awards ceremony, which would signal the end to a turbulent 201314 season.

While the NPL declined to respond to queries on the matter yesterday, a senior Stars official confirmed to The Namibian Sport that the club had received notice of the impending suspension, brought about by the club’s decision to take a football dispute to an ordinary court.

The official said Stars had been given until Wednesday to show cause why they should not be expelled from the NPL.

Stars have called for a media briefing in Windhoek on Tuesday, where they intend to state their latest position regarding the matter.

The NPL’s drastic action is said to have been fuelled by concerns raised by the other clubs that make up the 12-team premier division, which will be expanded to 16 next season.

Several clubs are said to be uneasy about the implications of Stars’ widely documented fallout with the NPL, which has escalated to a point where the league’s sole sponsor MTC has threatened to pull the plug on domestic football.

The other clubs can either choose to support Stars or voice their objection at the manner the club is handling the dispute.

Stars were reportedly aised to write directly to Fifa for a decision but they chose the court to avoid playing the NPL Management Committee prescribed eight minutes of their abandoned match against Orlando Pirates.

However, Stars, who wanted the entire match replayed, agreed to play out the remaining minutes under protest two weeks ago and lost the match 2-0.

Subsequently, the NPL ruled that Stars gave away their rights to be aggrieved after playing the match, prompting the defiant club to declare that they will continue the matter in the High Court.

WAR OF WORDS

On Thursday, NPL chairman, Johnny Doeseb claimed Stars chairman Sidney Martin “had gone too far”, was a threat to football in the country and called for stringent action to be taken against the club.

Reacting to Martin’s recent outbursts against the NPL and its sponsor MTC in the local media, Doeseb said Martin inexplicably still laboured in error that the Premiership had not concluded after his club played the remaining eight minutes of their outstanding match against Orlando Pirates.

He said that Stars had protested but their protest was invalid because of non-compliance with the rules relating to the lodgement of the protest, in that, whereas the rules prescribe that the protest be filed and served before the game, contrary thereto, it was lodged after the game.

“They know the rules in that regard. We have therefore responded to them in writing to reply to their invalid protest and I can therefore not understand why he is still referring to their protest,” said Doeumlseb, who said the awards ceremony will take place on 18 July “whether they [Stars] like it or not”.

“I am amazed by the fact that he [Martin] is now dragging our sponsor and the biggest sponsor of sports in this country, MTC, into the mud.

“We will not allow one man to shatter the dreams of so many soccer loving players and citizens in the country by threatening our sponsor.

Doeseb accused Stars of attempting to deflect attention from their failure to pay their players.

“On the other hand, our office is inundated with Stars players calling to ask when Stars will get their prize monies because their team informed them that they can only get paid when the prize money is paid, and these inquiries come amidst him claiming his team has financial superiority over the rest of the (NPL) teams,” said Doeumlseb.

Source : The Namibian