President of the Namibia Football Association (NFA), Ranga Haikali, yesterday strongly shot down growing assertions that he and his entire executive committee members are captured by the self-styled Progress Forces group.
New Era Sport understands that the self-proclaimed Progressive Forces group consists of former footballers, former clubs executives and chairmen, who all apparently share a common objective of striving to clean up football and establish a new order of normalcy.
This publication has also established that it is the same group that campaigned for Haikali to become NFA president and it is equally the same group that continues to impose its influence on the NFA executive and its president.
Most, if not all, members of the Progressive Forces group are individuals who are not currently involved in active football structures.
Local football followers and various club chairpersons have been questioning, and expressing disgruntlement with, the proximity of the Progressive Forces group to Football House, more specific their worrying proximity to Haikali.
Perceptions are also rife that the Progressive Forces group is using eight rebellious NPL clubs; namely Tigers, Blue Waters, Civics, Citizens, Julinho, Mighty Gunners, Orlando Pirates and Young African, to act as its foot soldiers in their ongoing skirmish against the Patrick Kauta-led NPL leadership and in the process advance the agendas of the group from within.
Queried about his connection with the Progressive Forces group, Haikali admitted he has a relationship with the zealot group and from time to time he does take or share ideas with members of the group, which has no constitutional nor legal mandate to “advise” the FA president.
“I can confirm that I have a relationship with the group, I do talk to members of the group, we share ideas related to football but they [the group] do know that the NFA has a constitution that clearly demarcates the powers of the executive and those of the president. So there is no way the group will impose itself or its ideas on me if I don’t agree with them. I’m not captured and they have not been imposing themselves on me. That will not happen. If they have great ideas, they come to me and we consult, no imposing,” clarified Haikali.
Further questioned about the unlimited access the Progressive Forces group has to Football House and whether he is open to accommodate views/ideas from other such groups, Haikali said he remains open to meet and engage all other football groups, and not only the Progressive Forces.
“My door is always open, anyone can come and consult. It’s not only about the Progressive Forces group, I’m ready and willing to speak to all parties of Namibian football.”
Former Black Africa FC interim chairman Cassius Moetie, also a staunch member of the Progressive Forces group, yesterday told New Era Sport that their goal is to transform local football and they will continue to do so “with the assistance” of the NFA executive team.
He defended the group’s proximity to Football House, saying they enjoy a great relationship with Haikali and share the same football interests as the new NFA leadership.
Moetie maintained that their closeness to Football House should not tarnish Haikali’s credibility nor bring into disrepute his ability to make well-informed decisions. They, Moetie insisted, perceive their relationship as healthy and one founded on mutual interests.