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My candid view - Let’s accord the new NC an opportunity

2022-05-13  Otniel Hembapu

My candid view - Let’s accord the new NC an opportunity

When reflecting on my past experiences with the previous Fifa Normalisation Committee for the Namibia Football Association (NFA), I’m reminded of the wise words of former US president Barack Obama, who once said: “If you have to win a campaign by dividing people, you are not going to be able to govern them. You won’t be able to unite them later if that’s how you start.”

Obama’s wise words perfectly sum up the entire slapdash tenure of the previous Fifa Normalisation Committee, who at the end of their term left Namibian football further divided than before, and with two leagues that do not see eye to eye. 

Equally, Obama’s honest counsel should serve as a stern warning to the newly-appointed Normalisation Committee not to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors by making the same mistakes of choosing sides and closing the window of opportunitiy to possible peace-seeking talks.

As the former US Head of State rightfully puts it, you cannot start any process by dividing people, and then think you are going to be able to govern them later. You won’t be able to unite nor will you govern them if that is your point of departure.

It is no secret, Namibian football is currently heavily divided and sitting with two leagues. All these things are a result of endless infights over the last couple of years, and what is now needed is a fresh healing process, and for all parties involved to reach a compromise.

Regardless of where you are seated at either side of the table, the fact of the matter remains as simple as it was yesterday – it will take unity, honesty, boldness and teamwork to resolve the problems we are faced with. 

As difficult as it seems, the new Normalisation Committee has the rare opportunity to finally rescue the careers of hundreds of young Namibians. 

Firstly, they should try by all possible means to unite or merge the two leagues.

 But that can only happen if egos are put aside and certain compromises are

 The only way forward now is for all parties to meet at the middle ground; it’s no longer either here or there. 

Secondly, for the sake of peace, the Normalisation Committee must adopt an open-door policy, where all interested or affected parties can be heard and accommodated without any
prejudgements being passed. 

We are at the crossroads, and there are no winners or losers in this situation. Again, I will caution the new Normalisation Committee not to repeat the same mistakes of their forerunners by shutting the door to dialogue. 

Let me conclude by borrowing from the wise words of Australian lawmaker Jay Weatherill, who once reminded us that “You don’t achieve unity by ignoring the questions that have to be faced”. 

2022-05-13  Otniel Hembapu

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