President Hage Geingob and Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Patrice Motsepe yesterday strongly shared the same desire to swiftly and seamlessly see the infights that has engulfed Namibian football come to an end.
While welcoming the visiting Caf delegation to State House during a courtesy call yesterday, Geingob, who is also the patron of the Namibia Football Association (NFA), used the opportunity to call on the newly-appointed Fifa Normalisation Committee to instinctively deal with the root causes of the current football fracas.
“What is the matter, why should we still take so long to resolve the issue? I would have understood if you people maybe needed a bit of more time to research and figure out what the problems are. But in our case, we all know what the problems are and what needs to be done. So, let’s just solve the issue and get football back. By saying so, I’m not interfering because you all know what Fifa says about us the politicians interfering in football matters, but I also want to host people here [the planned 2027 Afcon joint bid with Botswana], but I can’t do that because we have all these problems,” said Geingob, as he relied the committee to act swiftly.
“These internal fights must be solved so that we can start with our football. Namibians are disappointed and our kids out there need to play football…the committee must not feel sorry for people, but they must set up the rules so that football, a game which we all love, is played again”
The Head of State also expressed profound disappointment with the Brave Warriors playing their home matches in Johannesburg, South Africa, saying the issue of inadequate facilities needs to be addressed as it is robbing Namibians of an opportunity to support their team.
“At the moment, we don’t have a
stadium and we are playing in South Africa. Oh my God, in South Africa! Just imagine what kind of shame it is for us as a country, although we are one people with our brothers there [South Africans]. So, let’s get to work and resolve all these
I know everyone is listening out there and they were saying the ‘big man’ is going to say this and that today but no; I’m just here to say that the new committee must act and resolve our problems.”
Meanwhile, Motsepe echoed the same sentiments, but said Caf is ready and willing to assist Namibia in getting football back again. Motsepe said the country’s current problems should not be alienated, but it should rather be seem in the context of a collective.
“We are aware of the problems in Namibian football, but Mr President, I would like to assure you here that Namibia is not alone because we as Caf, our duty is to help and guide where needed.
All these problems will soon be a thing of the past because we will collectively attend to them as one people, not just Namibians alone. I also gave the same directive to the normalisation committee to act fast and ensure football is back and people are united. Namibians deserve better and we can all do better if we work together,” said Motsepe.
“After these engagements, I will again return to Namibia at a later stage to meet with the new leadership that would be elected at that time, just to come ensure that everything is well in place. Like I said, Namibians deserve better and even with the stadiums issue, we will work together to make sure that Namibia does not have to play her matches in South Africa. I believe that by working together, all these things will be resolved”
“The normalisation committee will work hand-in-hand with Fifa and Caf to make sure that football in this country has governance, hence the reason we deliberately brought all the 14 Cosafa presidents to Namibia to say we are here to solve these problems. No individual is bigger than football in Namibia; therefore, everyone has to subdue their interests and advance the united interests of the Namibian people,” he added.