NFA buries promotion saga as Okahandja United enters NPL

20 Sep 2018 17:10pm
WINDHOEK, 20 SEP (NAMPA) – The Namibia Football Association (NFA) on Thursday put an end to the confusion surrounding the promotion of teams to the Namibia Premier League (NPL) by confirming Okahandja United Football Club as the new club in the elite league.
Speaking at a media conference at Football House in Windhoek, NFA Secretary-General (SG) Barry Rukoro said following weeks of speculation related to lack of clarity on which third team will join Southern Stream winners Young Brazilians from Karasburg and North East First Division winners Julinho Sporting from Rundu, the NFA approved the promotion of Okahandja United.
“We have communicated to the NPL that the Military School handed over their league status to Okahandja United following their victory in the promotional playoffs over African Motto. This was necessitated by the NFA and International Federation of Association Football (Fifa) status, which prohibits ownership of two or more clubs by the same entity participating in the same competition,” Rukoro said.
He added that this was done to avoid putting the results and integrity of matches and competitions involving the two clubs in jeopardy.
The promotion of Military School FC would have meant there would be two Namibian Defence Force teams, the other being Mighty Gunners, in the league, which would have contravened the NFA rules.
The NFA SG said Military School transferred the ownership of the team to the Okahandja Community under the new name.
This was communicated to the NFA on 09 September 2018, Rukoro clarified.
“As a result of this move, we did not see any reason why Military School FC under new ownership (Okahandja Community) and new name (Okahandja United) should not be promoted and be allowed to compete in the NPL. As such, NFA has decided to endorse the promotion of Okahandja FC to the NPL.”
Rukoro further stated that as far as the NFA is concerned, no money was involved in the name and ownership change.
This also further meant that the Military School FC no longer exists within the NFA structures.
Rukoro added the association is currently putting in place measures that will see clubs owned by a single entity or institution being slowly phased out from the NFA structures as per Fifa’s request.
“This law caught us in a situation where we had an overwhelming number of military and police teams in our structures. We cannot wake up one morning and say Fifa says no ownership of more than one club by one entity, so goodbye; we need to find a formula to deal with this,” he explained.
This formula, he said, will help the NFA remain with a minimum number of manageable teams from such entities.
He stated that the NFA is also looking at dealing with such cases in the cup competitions as they do not want to find themselves in a similar situation.