It’s my sincere wish to pen down this instalment posing a few serious questions of pertinent importance to you Mr Frans Mbidi, as the designated commander-in-chief of the country’s most-adored sporting discipline – football.
It’s safe to confess, albeit, with a grain of arrogance that the Brave Warriors’ historic victory in the recently concluded Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) Senior Challenge has injected a new lease of life into Namibian football.
This victory, a first of its kind in any Namibian sporting discipline since the dawn of democracy in 1990, should not be taken for granted and must be complemented with deeds not by word of mouth. Let us stop paying lip service to matters of public concern and start walking the talk.
It’s now a well-documented secret that Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti’s employment contract has come full circle upon completion of the COSAFA Cup, a statement that was confirmed by you upon the team’s arrival from its triumphant safari in South Africa.
As I’m writing this letter, the issue of Mannetti’s contract extension remains unresolved. Nonetheless, the dominant belief of the football-loving public, including the sceptics, is that Mannetti should be offered a new contract and a much-improved one for that matter, as opposed to the one he is currently peddling.
In any decent structure, NFA should have been ready with cap in hand, dangling a juicy carrot in the face of Mannetti from the moment he disembarked from the jumbo jet, rather than singing praises for the mentor.
The bottom line is, juicy words and praises alone don’t put food on the table, the brother needs to have his immediate future sorted out properly so that he can concentrate on the task at hand – that of leading the team to the promised land.
From what yours truly could gather, our football bosses are still engulfed in the colonial era belief that their own kith and kin are less worthy than their white counterparts.
Mannetti’s predecessor, one Roger Palmgren – a fairly unknown fellow with no proven pedigree – was appointed on a monthly salary of N$70 000 per month, excluding accommodation and vehicle usage.
Obviously, Mannetti was privy to his boss’ monthly remuneration and therefore had leverage to negotiate what he felt is a deserving salary.
After all, Mannetti now boasts an impressive resume accompanied by a regional gold medal, a feat never achieved by any of his dozens of predecessors – certainly food for thought !!
This is exactly what happens when we underestimate the intelligence of fellow human beings. The NFA hard-core stance not to offer Mannetti a decent salary could come back to haunt the association big time if this matter is not resolved soon and could have far-reaching repercussions if not handled with the care and maturity it deserves.
My humble advice to Mr Frans Mbidi, do the honourable thing and give to Caesar what he deserves and what is rightly his and let’s bring closure to this ugly chapter. I rest my case.