• May 29th, 2020

SOS: Save Our Football


Waiting for the Namibian Football Association (NFA) to resolve its own issues – as ordered by the Namibia Sports Commission, government and, to some extent, Fifa – is like expecting a judge to sentence himself to a jail term after having transgressed. 

It’s like asking a kid to give himself a hiding after failing his mathematics homework.
Even Jacob Zuma only let go of the South African presidency after facing a motion of no confidence in parliament. After initially declaring that he would not leave office, he resigned 24 hours to the scheduled no-confidence move.
In neighbouring Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe resigned as president minutes into the parliamentary process to impeach him. 
What those series of events tell us is that human beings are poor at correcting themselves or changing things that bring them comfort.

Against that inevitable background, it is hard to see how the authorities expect to see any changes at NFA, led by the very people that have brought the association into the disrepute it currently finds itself in.

Instead of installing an interim leadership in charge at NFA, the powers that be, in their wisdom, took a pedestrian approach by ordering the very people that are destroying the institution – and football in general – to remain in their jobs and correct their wrongs. They are not being asked to account for their actions or recuse themselves from the institution they are busy destroying from within.

Because of the unimaginative approach by those who should be calling NFA to order, young Namibian footballers’ Olympic dream got shattered this week when neither NFA president Frans Mbidi, nor secretary general Barry Rukoro could sign for funding of the team’s logistics.

We read with a heavy heart how the young footballers cried their eyes out and they helplessly watched their futures slip out of their hands after they were ordered to return home from their camp. This was because the Olympic qualifier match for which they were summoned to camp, had been cancelled due to lack of funds – attributed to signatory rights egos of both Mbidi and Rukoro.

These men are prepared to preserve their power, money and influence at any cost, even if it means a national team doesn’t honour its fixtures.

In this context, it would even be a miracle if tomorrow’s crunch Afcon qualifier match between the Brave Warriors and Guinea Bissau went ahead without any effects from the unguided war between the two men. 
Imagine if the opposite was true. Imagine if this was an away match for which NFA were required to avail funds for travelling logistics.

This week’s incident – of the young footballers not travelling to Angola – is only a tiny fraction of the consequences the entire nation of 2.4 million people could suffer because of the egos of two men.
Our clarion call, therefore, is that in order to save our football, an interim leadership needs to be appointed to resolve the current impasse. 

After all, the substantive contract of Rukoro ended in March already, while Mbidi’s term is ending in three weeks’ time – on December 5. This irony presents an opportunity to clean up our football in general and NFA in particular.


New Era Reporter
2018-11-16 09:45:18 | 1 years ago

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