Pirates awarded points after Stars refuse to play

07 May 2014 13:20pm
WINDHOEK, 07 MAY (NAMPA) - The Namibian Premier League (NPL) match between the African Stars and Orlando Pirates football clubs which was supposed to resume for eight minutes on Tuesday, did not take place following a court order obtained by African Stars on the same day.
The match was abandoned eight minutes before full-time on 16 April 2014 due to a power failure at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek.
The NPL committee decided a week later that the two teams play off the remaining eight minutes of the game, but African Stars chairman Sidney Martin demanded that the match be replayed entirely.
On Tuesday just before 19h00 when the match was supposed to resume at the same venue, Windhoek deputy sheriff Manfred Hennes presented a court order from the High Court of Namibia to three respondents - the Namibia Football Association (NFA) (first respondent), Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) NPL (second respondent), and third respondent Orlando Pirates Football Club.
Orlando Pirates, who were leading the original match by 2-0 before the power failure, were then awarded three points as winners of the match on Tuesday, following Stars’ refusal to resume the match.
The court order calls upon all parties to show cause at 09h00 on 20 May 2014, alternatively a date determined by the managing judge.
Point 4.1 of the court order reads: “The first and second respondent should not be interdicted from proceeding/or continuing with the scheduled resumption of the MTC Namibian Premier League football match scheduled to play at 19h00 on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 at the Sam Nujoma Soccer Stadium between the applicant and the third respondent, pending the outcome of the appeal lodged by the applicant to the first respondent on 06 May 2014 in the matter of African Stars Soccer Club (PTY) LTD v (vs) executive committee of the Namibia Football Association”.
Approached for comment on the court order on Wednesday morning, NPL Administrator Tovey Hoëbeb referred Nampa to Law Seven of the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) rules and regulations, which stipulates that an abandoned match is replayed unless the competition rules provide otherwise.
He also referred this agency to Rule 10.12 (d) of the NFA Rules and Regulations Governing Members which reads: “Where league matches are not played in accordance with the time duration contemplated in Rule 10.12 (a) the executive committee of any league shall on receipt of a complaint or report in terms of these rules decide on the course of action to be taken.”
Rule 10.12 (a) stipulates the duration of league matches, and in this case two equal halves of 45 minutes each with a half-time interval of at least 15 minutes.
Hoëbeb acknowledged that African Stars have the right to appeal to the court, adding that the association is awaiting the match officials' report and court order.