Africa’s football governing body, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), has warned the Namibian Football Association (NFA) against unbecoming behaviour.
This comes in the aftermath of Namibia’s Afcon qualifying match against the visiting Niger in Windhoek last month, when an unruly crowd threw objects onto the pitch.
In a statement to their affiliates, CAF cautioned the NFA to guard against any such future incidents that could potentially bring the game of football into disrepute. After a Disciplinary Board’s examination of the match review from the 2017 CAF Afcon Group K qualifier at the Sam Nujoma Stadium where objects were thrown onto the pitch by locals during the hosts’ 1-0 win over the visitors – courtesy of Pikes Shalulile’s lone strike – the Board examined all the documents relevant to the ill-fated match and resolved to forward a warning to the NFA.
In what can be interpreted as a gentle rap on the knuckles, CAF merely requested the NFA to take all the necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of visiting teams during future international matches.
The Disciplinary Board considered Article 82, “Principles of Conduct” of the CAF Disciplinary Code, that stipulates: National associations, clubs, officials, members and their players shall respect the principles of loyalty, integrity and sportsmanship as well as Article 83, “Responsibility”, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the CAF Disciplinary Code, that stipulate:
1. National associations, clubs and officials are responsible for ensuring that the game is not brought into disrepute in anyway whatsoever by the conduct of their players, officials, members, supporters and any other persons exercising a function at a match at the request of the association or club.
2. The host association or club is responsible for order and security both inside and around the stadium before, during and after the match. It is liable for incidents of any kind, and can be rendered subject to disciplinary measures.
NFA Secretary General Barry Rukoro reiterated the NFA’s call for fans to desist from such behaviour in future and to promote the integrity of the game.
“It is very regrettable and unfortunate that in the midst of celebrations some section of our fans resorted to missile-throwing onto the pitch and we again urge them to refrain from such behaviour and respect referees’ decisions at all times to uphold a reputable behaviour. We cannot afford to be fined for these kinds of actions and therefore I call upon all Namibians to root out this evil from our game,” Rukoro said.