Wonders shall never cease to happen and wonders constantly keep on happening wrongfully at the Namibia Football Association (NFA) Football House in Katutura. We have accused the previous administration of all sorts of corrupt practices. Just as we thought football was being normalised, what we are seeing with the current administration is the direct opposite – and I stand to be proven otherwise. Wrong is wrong and wrong can never be right.
I wonder what the values of Football House are and if they are living according to their values and purpose in their daily operations or as they go about their daily activities. I put the blame squarely at the doorstep of the NFA executive committee. The executive committee is supposed to work in unison – agree to disagree on strategic football issues, and take decisions in the best interest of football and move on.
This has proven to be the NFA’s executive committee’s biggest Achilles heel. The groupings and friendships within the executive committee are clouding their judgement at the expense of football. The NFA lacks leadership as a whole; the executive committee is indecisive and has no spine to take football forward. History will judge the current administration and it is up to them to prove us otherwise.
Appointment of NFA public relations officer
During the tenure of the Normalisation Committee, it was reported that there were no formal policies in place – and that was confirmed by the current administration. The policies in question were human resources (recruitment), finance, ITC, etc,. I want to believe that the current administration has rectified that abnormality and that all the policies are now in place – unless the new human resources policy (recruitment policy) of the NFA has the element or clause of ‘reverse recruitment’ that suits certain individuals’ personalities.
This is with specific reference to the appointment letter that had social media abuzz. This appointment was done in ‘reverse recruitment’ and is an insult to the football fraternity – let alone to the aspiring young men and women who should have made the cut through a transparent recruitment process. This ‘reverse recruitment’ process, embarked upon by the NFA, has all the hallmarks of cronyism, nepotism and lack of transparency. They literally hijacked the job market. The honourable thing to do is re-advertise the position and follow a transparent recruitment process open to all Namibians.
FIFA Covid-19 grants to the NFA
We all know that football was not played in Namibia for a considerable period because of all the wrong reasons, such as infightings and – more recently – Covid-19. The Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) dispersed Covid-19 relief grants to all its member associations, Namibia included, to assist players during these trying times of a deadly pandemic.
We also know that Covid-19 struck while the football league was already idle. The intention by FIFA is quite commendable. I am particularly worried by the casual approach the NFA executive has adopted in disseminating information to the football loving public. NFA is supposed to proactively inform the stakeholders on how the grant was utilised and for which activities at Football House. The NFA should not be selective in terms of what needs to be communicated. Being transparent and open about their activities will result in public trust, especially from the football fraternity.
The public wants to know how much in Covid-19 grants was given to NFA by FIFA? How was the money utilised? Did it serve its intended purpose and did individual players receive the grants – and how much? If the above is not the case, how was it utilised by the NFA?
For example, if FIFA’s grant towards Covid-19 relief for the players was, for arguments sake, N$100 and NFA decided to utilise N$50 to start their league, then that was wrong and unlawful. The money was for Covid-19 relief to help the players – not to fund a domestic league.
Alternatively, if the N$50 was utilised by NFA to start the league – and if and when NFA receives other funds, ideally earmarked for the respective leagues (not the Covid-19 grants), can they re-direct the N$50 to make it N$100 again and disperse the funds for its intended purpose to the players. Having started the league was paramount – but equally, the players’ prosperity is paramount and they are still entitled to get what is due to them.
It is for these reasons that NFA must proactively communicate with the media and the public, especially with regards to the Covid-19 grants from FIFA. Players were affected with no football in the past and whatever amount – even if it is little – it will make a difference to the players.
The ball is in NFA’s court to help us comprehend as to how the Covid-19 grant was utilised and to account for every penny spent. Let us see how different you are from your predecessors; otherwise, it will be lip service and a disservice to all and sundry as far as the governance and accountability in Namibian football is concerned.
E-connect digital registration system
I am informed that the E-connect system has been long in use in other footballing parts of the world.
I am further informed that this system works wonders and makes life easier for football administrators and other football stakeholders. E-connect digital player registration system helps one to keep track of players, coaches and referees worldwide. It makes it easier for players’ compensation, international transfers, determining their age, etc. It keeps track of almost everything concerning players.
E-connect warrants things to be done in a systematic way. In a nutshell, a press of a keyboard button or cellphone can retrieve and display all you want to know.
This system is long overdue, but I am quite excited about this particular system, and commend the NFA for moving swiftly to finally implement the system in the land of the brave. In fact, the system is designed to benefit the many football clubs and academies, and to benefit from their players through the development and compensation fees.
In the past, clubs and academies always lost out on that benefit because there was no tracking system in place to show who developed the players. So, once the E-connect system is fully in place, Caesar will finally get what belongs to him.
* Jefta M Gaoab is a football enthusiast and a public relations officer for Touch & Go Football Club. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely his, and not those of his club or employer.