WINDHOEK – Dozens of local football clubs campaigning in the country’s various leagues are up in arms over what they term ludicrous transfer fees introduced by the country’s football governing body the Namibia Football Association (NFA).
The association has introduced hefty transfer fees for footballers across the board but many clubs, notably those in the MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL), are not happy and have questioned the rationale behind the sudden rise in transfer fees under the current economic hardships prevailing in domestic football.
One club member who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, wanted to know when and who mandated the NFA to take such a drastic resolution that would in all likelihood be detrimental to the clubs’ already fragile budgets.
“As much as the NFA reserves the right to make and introduce rules as the governing body – such delicate decisions must first be tabled before the congress, before they can be implemented,” charged an irate club official.
However, the NFA is having none of that and its Secretary-General Barry Rukoro, was adamant that the move is correct and aimed primarily at encouraging clubs in the NPL to introduce youth academies where talented young footballers can be groomed.
“They (NPL clubs) just keep going back to the lower leagues to snap up gifted youngsters on the cheap without compensating those who have spent their resources to groom the players in the absence of proper control mechanisms in place,” Rukoro shot back.
He added that it is a fair deal for everyone involved in football since it will safeguard and protect the smaller clubs from exploitation, while it could also motivate the big clubs to start giving attention to youth structures.
“The motive is very clear - it’s all about football development at all levels. We have established the NFA Youth League and so far the only top teams affiliated to that league are Ramblers and SKW. What about clubs such as Black Africa, African Stars and even Orlando Pirates. If a club like Tura Magic can enter a team in the youth league – what would stop the big clubs.”
As of now, clubs in the three top tier divisions will be obliged to cough up N$8 000 in transfer fees while they must also part with N$8 000 in annual affiliation fees to the NPL. One of many decisions that was met with anger and dismay is the astronomical fees charged in the event of clubs daring to file disputes with the league (N$3 000 protest), (N$20 000 appeal) and (N$30 000 arbitration).
“That’s absolute rubbish and madness,” charged another club official who requested that his identity be withheld, fearing victimization. “This is just another well orchestrated trick to discourage clubs from exercising their constitutional rights, because no club can afford such large