NFC Opens Soccer Floodgates

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By Confidence Musariri The romance between the Namibia Football Consortium (NFC) and the Namibia Football Association (NFA) has been rekindled following revelations that the sponsors have decided to lift the moratorium placed in June during the disturbances within the football administration. Hansa Pilsner, First National Bank and communications giant, MTC, who all form part of the consortium, announced yesterday that the “dust has settled and everything is back in business,” according to FNB’s Cassius Moete. The removal of the sanctions comes as a blessing for the national Under-23 and Senior teams who are engaged this weekend in international assignments and are desperately in need of maximum resources. “This will greatly help us administer football,” said NFA Secretary-General, Alfeus Gaweseb, appreciatively. The recent squabbles within the soccer house had severed ties with the country’s premiere football sponsors who then imposed a ban on the N$40 million they have given to football. “The reason it was imposed is now a thing of the past, and it was a lesson for everyone involved in soccer; hence I believe that we are all now positive for the development of our football,”Gawaseb added. The sponsors also trashed any thought of imposing any further sanctions on the money by expressing their optimism in the NFA upholding the statutes of FIFA as spelled out by regional FIFA development officer, Ashford Mamelodi. The moratorium had crippled most activities within football administration especially the Premier League which had suffocated as no one seemed aware of when and where the money would be found to resume the league. “With the national team we were fortunate that government provided the bigger chunk of the funding, and now, although we were in the pre-planning process, I am sure you will be informed soon of the league’s resumption,” said Gawaseb. The lifting of the siege and the subsequent indications of the league resuming has paved the way for the transfer window which was almost stagnant. Champions Civics and former champions Blue Waters recently told New Era they could not go onto the market since keeping players in the camp for long periods without knowledge about the league starting, is too costly. After the lifting of the N$40 million cordon, Namibian Premier League (NPL) administrator, Tovey Hoebeb, informed the nation through New Era that the transfer window had been opened last week and would close on September 24. “There is no actual date at the moment for the league to kick off, but we are planning to have two tournaments before the league. We might have to wait until October,” said Hoebeb. With the money availed, the Premier League has in its foresight the annual Charity Shield and the Top 8 tournaments which will start any day now from September 20. Furthermore, the NPL Annual General Meeting is expected to be held in the capital on September 16, whereafter the tournaments should kick off a week later. Hoebeb also revealed that the lifting of the moratorium will boost top-flight clubs as they will now receive their N$120ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 000 start-up capital which had been blocked .The NFC will also inject another N$200ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 000 for the administration of the league. “Consultations have been going on even when the money was not there, but things will now roll into action,”he said thankfully. NFA spokesman, Beau Kauta, said it was obvious that the moratorium would be removed “at some stage, but it was the timing that was most crucial. We could not implement anything related to the FIFA Roadmap without the consortium. FIFA wants elections within the regions, and no one was going to provide the money to conduct those elections if the consortium had not come. They have just rescued what could have been another disaster,” he said. NFA acting President, John Muinjo, who resides in Otjiwarongo, breathed a sigh of relief when questioned about the lifting of the siege. “We (NFA) have been living by a thread. It was really a difficult time to keep the national teams active without the main sponsors. It’s a big relief,” he said. The blockade had plagued most developments, with the most exclusive one being the national team coach Ben Bamfuchile’s stay in a hotel, ever since he assumed his duties as Brave Warriors tutor. There has been no money to pay for Bamfuchile’s upkeep, and the Zambian was once accommodated at Muinjo’s house for a number of days when he arrived to take up the post, before being moved to a local hotel. The coach’s flight from Zambia was also orchestrated by some members of the NFA top brass who until today still claim innocence regarding the recent chaos. Bamfuchile is now expected to leave the hotel, although it might be too late to unveil him now. Sources within the administration of the country’s supreme football governing body claim that the association has no debt at the moment, as it made ends meet with the hosting of Cosafa. Besides the appointment of the coach, which was shrouded in secrecy as there was no money, the country also went to Egypt for the bidding of the 2010 Nations Cup without the blessings of its main investors. NFA has, however, been fortunate to have cashed in a considerable amount of money from the hosting of the Cosafa tournament as well as the allowances that Cosafa dishes out.