WINDHOEK – Deputy Chairperson of the FIFA Normalisation Committee, Franco Cosmos, yesterday confirmed that they had received a letter from the lawyers of ousted secretary-general of the Namibia Football Association (NFA), Barry Rukoro, demanding that the committee immediately reinstate their client (Rukoro), as his removal was procedural and unprincipled.
Cosmos, who deputises Hilda Basson-Namundjebo on the five-member FIFA-appointed committee, was reluctant to indulge too much into the content of Rukoro’s letter to the committee but disclosed that the letter demanded that he (Rukoro) be reinstated into his position of general secretary of the local football federation, as his unceremonious removal from office lacked ethical and legal grounds.
“The letter from Rukoro’s lawyers also points out a certain clause in his employment contract that apparently says his contract with NFA runs until he turns 60 years of age, but in the same contract that he is referencing, there is also a clause that says Rukoro and NFA entered into a two-year contract that already expired. So we as a committee just came to enforce what was needed to be done, which is embarking on a journey of getting a new secretary-general for the association. The interesting part, however, is the fact that Rukoro’s lawyers chose to put emphasis on one clause of the contract, which is the one that speaks of his tenure running until he turns 60, but forgetting that the very same clause cannot be treated in isolation as another clause that speaks of a two-year contract also exists in the same document they are quoting…”
“…So our answer to Rukoro’s lawyers is very simple, we as a committee entrusted by FIFA to normalise the affairs of the NFA, will not reinstate Rukoro back into office as demanded by his lawyers and we have enough legal grounds to back up our decision. I think today (yesterday) our lawyer also wrote to his lawyers informing him of the committee’s decision, so it’s now up to him to take the matter up with the Labour Commissioner’s Office or even the High Court if he fails to get recourse with the Labour Commissioner. But we stand by our decision and that we will defend at all costs. If he (Rukoro) is maybe owed any outstanding money or whatever tasks he needs to be reimbursed for, the committee is ready and willing to grant him an audience but demanding reinstatement is a big NO!” said Cosmos, who also confirmed that Rukoro’s lawyers demanded that he be reinstated effective yesterday (Monday).
Contacted for comment yesterday, Rukoro chose not to indulge into the issue, saying his lawyers are busy with the matter and they know how they will take the case forward. “It’s now in my lawyers’ hands and they will know what the next step needs to be. So, I leave it in their hands,” he briefly said.