The Namibia Football Association (NFA) is set to hold its elective congress under the Fifa Normalisation Committee tomorrow with two slates, one under lawyer and former African Stars chairman Patrick Kauta, while the other is under businessman and current Blue Waters chairman Robert Shimooshili, battling it out for the country’s top footballing seat.
Speaking to New Era Sport yesterday, the two candidates exuded confidence in winning the election.
Kauta said campaigning had gone well as they had engaged stakeholders from all 14 regions, including areas they had been told were no-go zones for their slate.
“We have spoken to everybody we needed to speak to. We are confident of emerging victorious in this election. People want change, and we have offered them that change. We have done well at the club level; now we are taking this to the national and international level,” Kauta said.
He added that his team was made up of people with expertise all across the game, and they will bring good governing principles to the football house.
“We will govern with transparency and bring back the integrity of football and football houses to the people. We want the NFA to focus on its core mandate of developing the game at the grassroots level. The NFA can run its developmental competitions and develop referees, coaches, and administrators. The leagues should run themselves and source their funding,” he explained.
The former African Stars honcho said the NFA must be able to be self-sustainable and be capable of sourcing its funding for its operations and the running of developmental programmes.
Kauta said if voted into office, they will accelerate the development of women’s football as prescribed by Fifa, hence the reason why their slate has experienced women administrators like Monica Shapwa, Anna Natasha Cloete and Regina Kerthu Mushona, who are season women football administrators.
Kauta said they also want to make the NFA an attractive brand, which should easily entice corporate funding, paving the way for self-sustainability.
Kauta, who was disqualified by the previous NC from running, said they will work hard to make sure that the Brave Warriors and Brave Gladiators international rankings improve drastically to under 80 in the world.
“Our current rankings for both the men’s and women’s national teams do not reflect the talent this country has. We are ranked higher than countries that have never been to Afcon, while we are on our way to the fourth tournament. We export players to Botswana who have only gone there once or twice, simply because they have adopted best practices, and we have not,” Kauta said.
As for the SG position, he said they will have to advertise the position when the time comes, and there should be a proper handover, adding that the first few months will require hard work from his team to make sure that Football House is a well-oiled machine.
The coastal base businessman said he did not do any campaign as he believes the people who nominated him to stand would vote for him.
“It was not my request to get the nominations. The members who nominated me have been asking me to stand for some time now. I finally agreed because they have been persistent,” he said.
He said if elected into office, his main focus would be the transformation of Namibian football to another level, citing the fact that currently, there is only one active league (the NPFL), and this does not align well with the status quo of the game.
“We have to balance this by mobilising resources (capital) to make sure that the other leagues are active as well. For us to get capital or resources, we have to gain the trust of all stakeholders. These include the government, the corporate world, and the international community,” he said.
This can be achieved by applying good governance, trust, accountability, and a conducive environment where the stakeholders have access to NFA and their input is valued.
He added that the issue of infrastructure is a burning one, as Namibia does not have enough stadiums to handle local and international matches.
“League matches are postponed due to unavailable or over-utilised stadiums. This is why we need to work with all stakeholders responsible for the development and maintenance of this infrastructure,” he explained.
He added that collective leadership will play a role in making sure that NFA is a trusted brand, especially by the political leadership.
Shimooshili said the members who asked him to stand came up with his running members and he does not have a problem working with them.
“Namibia has limited football administrators, and we know each other well. That is why we choose people from various regions. Power should not be centralised; that is why our slate is diverse,” he said.
The 32nd Ordinary Elective Congress will take place at the Mercury Hotel in Windhoek on Friday. – firstname.lastname@example.org