World football governing body Fifa on Tuesday cracked the whip on members of the besieged Namibia Football Association (NFA) executive committee, reaffirming its support towards the presidency of Ranga Haikali.
Last month, NFA vice president Izak Fredericks, with the backing of some executive committee members, suspended Haikali as the association’s president over alleged misuse of power, corruption, mismanagement and for repeatedly failing to consult the entire executive committee when making important decisions on behalf of the federation.
Haikali’s suspension followed a nasty squabble that rocked Football House earlier the same month, which saw him locking horns with the FA’s secretary general Franco Cosmos. Haikali accused Cosmos of undermining his authority, bringing the NFA’s name into serious disrepute, and awarding million-dollar tenders without his or the executive committee’s approval.
The NFA executive committee is highly divided, and has for the past few months been at war with itself. Cosmos enjoyed the lion’s share of support from most members of the executive committee and from another outside rebel group called the Progressive Forces, which continues to enjoy unlimited access to Football House.
The persistent and concerning infighting between Haikali, Cosmos and the executive committee members reached the ears of Fifa bosses in Zurich, Switzerland a few weeks ago. On Tuesday this week, Fifa thus held a meeting with the entire NFA leadership, where it overturned Haikali’s suspension, and reaffirmed him as NFA president.
Fifa called upon the NFA leadership to put aside their differences, and work towards unity and the development of local football.
To amplify Fifa’s stance, Haikali yesterday called a hasty media briefing at Football House, where he informed the media of what transpired during that meeting, further informing the local football fraternity that Fifa unreservedly endorsed him as the substantive NFA president.
“Today (yesterday) I just had a meeting with secretary general Cosmos, where I conveyed the same message as was directed by Fifa. I can’t disclose what we discussed, but what I can say is that I came here to deliver the same message. Under my presidency or chairmanship, we will soon be calling for a meeting for the entire members of the executive committee, and the idea is to have the meeting as soon as possible without much delay. The aim of the meeting is to sort out our differences and take football forward. I will also use the meeting to state the position of Fifa that I’m still the legitimate president. I was, I remain and will continue to be the NFA president!” stressed Haikali.