Stars Fume At NFA Blackout

African Stars chairman Sidney Martin is dismayed by the Namibia Football Association’s decision not to accept their appeal to have the Namibia Premier League’s ruling on their infamous match against Orlando Pirates revoked.

On Tuesday, the NFA rebuffed Stars’ attempted appeal on a technicality, prompting the club to obtain a High Court interdict to stop the resumption of their eight-minute match against Pirates from taking place, which the NPL ignored.

The NFA did not entertain Stars’ appeal because it claims the dispute was still under the jurisdiction of the national league authorities, who in turn have refused to go back on their decision.

“My office was served with a purported appeal yesterday (Tuesday), but there was, in our opinion an error in the submission and we aised Stars as much,” NFA secretary general Barry Rukoro told The Namibian Sport yesterday.

“We will only deal with the matter once a properly submitted appeal lands on our tables. We have also communicated with the league as to our understanding of some aspects of the matter and we hope to find a lasting solution to the matter,” he added.

However Martin is adamant that his club had followed and exhausted all the football arbitration rules available to them to the letter.

“We don’t want to take them to court. But if the NFA does not want to abide by their own rules then we have the right to go to court to force the NFA to apply their own rules,” said Martin.

“The NPL does not have an executive committee to deal with this sort of matter.

“They have a management committee, who are the ones who passed the ruling that we are appealing against,” added Martin, who believes that taking the dispute to the High Court does not represent a breach of the regulations of Fifa, who may deem this step as interference by an outside party in football matters.

According to Fifa, the national associations have the obligation to resolve disputes “on their own, in an autonomous way without outside interference, from the government or any other parties”.

Martin said: “We cannot go to Fifa because we must go through football channels to get to them. In this case, it is the NFA. But we went to court because the NFA does not want to follow their own rules. We have not interfered with any football rules. The Fifa rule is very clear that ‘an abandoned match is replayed unless the competition rules provide otherwise.’ The NPL and NFA have no other rules. If you don’t have anything specific in your rules you go to Fifa rules.”

African Stars’ match against Orlando Pirates on 16 April was abandoned eight minutes from time when the Sam Nujoma Stadium floodlights failed.

The NPL subsequently ruled that the outstanding minutes of the match, which Pirates led 2-0, was to have been played on Tuesday, much to the consternation of Stars, who want the entire match replayed.

They are adamant that the NPL’s ruling, based on NFA Rules and Regulations 10.6 and 10.12 is flawed.

Source : The Namibian