NFPU takes NFA to Labour Court

21 Oct 2016 12:40pm
WINDHOEK, 21 OCT (NAMPA) - The Namibia Football Players Union (NFPU) has dragged the Namibia Football Association (NFA) to the Labour Court, saying the mother body refuses to acknowledge their existence despite having officially recognised the union in 2010 and 2012.
In a notice of arbitration hearing made available to Nampa, NFPU says “the players’ union was recognised by the NFA on 01 April 2010 as an official representative of football players who fall under the jurisdiction of the NFA on condition that the NFPU holds an election within the next six months”. The said elections were held within the stipulated time frame.
The notice further states that on 29 October 2012, the NFPU was eventually recognised by the NFA as the only bargaining agent for football players under the NFA's jurisdiction.
In 2014, the union says, it was given membership status by the NFA’s Executive Committee Meeting which allowed the union representatives, among other things, to vote at NFA organised events.
The union says the NFA has now side-lined the players’ union, leaving them with no option but to seek relief with the courts. The union says every time they engage the NFA, “they are ignored or treated as persona non grata”.
NFPU secretary-general, Olsen Kahiriri speaking to Nampa said it was not their intention to engage the courts, but they were forced by the NFA’s unacceptable behaviour to take that route.
“We are only interested in making sure that football is administered in a transparent manner. It’s unfortunate some of our football leaders have personalised football in this country,” he said.
Kahiriri blamed the current football problems on the NFA’s arrogance in handling such issues.
He said the continued ill treatment of the NFPU had left the union with no option but to resign as a member of the NFA so that it could focus on its mandate to represent the employment rights of the players.
The union said it was now asking the court to direct the NFA to respect and uphold the recognition of the union as an exclusive bargaining agent under the jurisdiction of NFA.
The union has also asked the court to direct the NFA to establish a player’s status committee as per Football International Regulations on Status and Transfer of players and a Dispute Resolution Chamber.
The players’ representatives further request the NFA to establish regulations that protect contractual stability and pay due respect to mandatory national laws enshrined in FIFA regulations.
Currently, the NFA does not have such a status.
Contacted for comment, NFA president Frans Mbidi acknowledged that the football body had been summoned to appear before the Labour Court.
“Unfortunately, as an association, our policy does not allow us to comment on issues that are before a court of law. We will comment after the court proceedings,” said Mbidi.
The Labour Court has set 25 October 2016 as the day of the hearing.