WINDHOEK – Members of the newly-appointed Fifa Normalisation Committee yesterday had to rely on the assistance of the Namibian Police to remove out-of-contract secretary-general of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) Barry Rukoro from the premises of the association.
Rukoro, who has been at the helm of the NFA secretariat for the past 13 years, has since last year been occupying the secretary-general position of the local football federation without a valid employment contract in place as his contract expired end of last March.
Upon expiry of his contract, the executive committee then decided to provisionally extend his tenure until last year December when the NFA elective congress was planned to place, but the congress never took place and Rukoro has since been in charge of the NFA administration without an employment contract.
Also last year, Fifa informed Rukoro and local football stakeholders through a letter that they do not recognise him as secretary-general of the NFA and he should therefore recuse himself from handling the affairs of the association.
Following Fifa’s strong stance on his continuous unapproved stay as secretary-general, Rukoro shot back at Fifa through media reports saying he does not “work for Fifa but works for the NFA” and with that posture, he further maintained his strong grip on the association’s secretary-general seat.
But as of late yesterday, the recently installed Fifa Normalisation Committee – headed by Hilda Basson-Namundjebo – resolved to take a tough approach when they delivered a letter to Rukoro at Football House in the presence of the police, instructing him to vacate the NFA premises within an hour from the time of notice.
Describing his continued presence at Football House as unlawful, the committee also reminded Rukoro that FIFA no longer recognizes him as secretary-general. Additionally, through the letter, the committee instructed Rukoro to hand over all NFA properties including the keys to the association’s Toyota Fortuner which he uses daily.
“The Normalisation Committee also would like to inform all stakeholders within the Namibian football fraternity to take note of this decision and to abide by it. No agreements (financial or otherwise) entered into by Rukoro is deemed as lawful or binding by the NFA,” reads the Committee’s letter.
Furthermore the letter to Rukoro said: “Should there be any remuneration or compensation due to you on the basis of your expired contract, we will ensure that this is settled within 7 (seven) working days. We wish you well in your future endeavours and thank you for your years of service.”
Storming out of Football House under the heavy surveillance of more than eleven well-prepared police officers who were on hand to ensure that the directives are carried out in full, Rukoro said he will engage his lawyers to take the matter further. Basson-Namundjebo said a new secretary-general will not be appointed anytime soon, but the committee itself will monitor and run the daily affiars of the NFA until someone is appointed to that position at a later stage.