In a highly unexpected move, the Namibia Footballers Players Union (NAFPU) has appointed outspoken former member of the now somewhat defunct Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF), Oslen Kahiriri, as the union’s secretary general.
Speaking to New Era Sport, Kahiriri, who is also a member of the official opposition DTA of Namibia, yesterday confirmed his five-year appointment as secretary general of NAFPU, saying the union is in dire need of someone who has the “footballers best interests at heart”.
Surprisingly, but typical of most Namibian football entities, NAFPU is said to have appointed Kahiriri already in February, but for some reason the ”jaw-dropping” appointment was kept a secret from the media and football stakeholders.
Wasting little time in outlining his ambitions for the union, Kahiriri said first on his agenda is to push for a minimum wage for footballers plying their trade in the MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL). He asks: if domestic workers have a minimum wage, then why not footballers?
“My overall plan is to bring prosperity to all footballers through excellence, accountability and fairness… Sports, especially football, is a big industry that positively contributes to the livelihoods of most Namibians, so we have to make sure footballers interests are addressed,” Kahiriri said.
Kahiriri, who abandoned the NEFF ship early last year, also acknowledged the slow pace at which NAFPU moves in resolving players’ disputes with their respective clubs, saying that’s an area he plans to work on to the best satisfaction of the paying customers, the footballers.
“I really want us to start resolving disputes at a faster pace, while striving for fairness. I also want to network with all the clubs and work out a clear roadmap in addressing issues of players’ medical aid benefits, employment contracts and overall professionalism of working relations between clubs and players.”
Former Brave Warriors greats Lolo Goraseb and Congo Hindjou are the president and vice-president of the NAFPU, while Donelly Nell is the treasurer and Kahiriri now the secretary general.