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My candid view - Fifa must not underestimate the powers of Govt

2020-10-16  Otniel Hembapu

My candid view - Fifa must not underestimate the powers of Govt

Last Friday, on this very column, I emphasised and over-amplified the importance of resolving the protracted standoff between the Namibia Football Association (NFA) and the Namibia Premier League (NPL) through dialogue and mutual understanding. 

And not only I, but many other astute and well-meaning football analysts and enthusiasts have been using their various platforms to spread the very same gospel of dialogue and mutual understanding between the two football entities. 
Also, while many sports-loving Namibians are calling for a truce between the NPL and NFA, a group of 10 clubs this week called a press conference in Windhoek to announce their purported resignation from the NPL and to further announce they have been provisionally accepted into the envisaged NFA top-tier league. The 10 clubs are Black Africa, Tigers, Citizens, Julinho Sporting, Mighty Gunners, Young Brazilians, Blue Waters and both relegated Civics and Orlando Pirates, as well as Young African.

But Black Africa, Citizens, Young Brazilians and Blue Waters have since distanced themselves from the earlier announcements that they had resigned from the NPL and are now joining the NFA league.
The shambolic football situation has now come down to one tactic for some clubs and the NFA; the tactic is they will do as they so wish and should anyone dare touch them or question their decisions, they will ring the alarm bell in Zurich, Switzerland – and Fifa will come running to their defence.

As much as we all respect and recognise Fifa’s powers, it must be also understood that the NFA is first and foremost a Namibian public entity and must account to all Namibians before it even thinks of begging about its Fifa-inherited powers. 
What I’m trying to say here is that NFA has a twofold responsibility to report and account to both the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) and Fifa – not only to Fifa. It must be equally understood that without the blessings and the existence of the NSC, the NFA’s relationship with Fifa will be worthless and just on mere paper.

Why do I say so? Just imagine, for a moment, especially in the face of endless Fifa threats, if the Namibian government through the NSC decides to suspend funding towards the NFA and also decides to withdraw government’s recognition of NFA as a national sport federation and have such decisions fully published in the Government Gazette? 
What will be left of the NFA? How will the Brave Warriors participate internationally without the blessings of the NSC and government? How will Fifa maintain relations with an unrecognised national federation? Why would Fifa give funds to an unrecognised national federation? 

Also, I want you to further imagine if the Namibian government, through the NSC, decides to revoke the privileges of the NFA to host and bid for major international events? Again, I ask you, what will be left of the NFA? Will Fifa still come to their rescue? 

All those are just but some of the powers government has through the NSC but the NFA does not seem to see that side of the picture, as it ignorantly continues to sing the old Fifa song without respecting the importance of the NSC and the atomic powers it holds. Do you now realise why I say Fifa is not the alpha and omega of Namibian football? Until next time, sharp sharp!!

2020-10-16  Otniel Hembapu

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