Namibian football faces acid test: Don’t play the man play the ball


Based on circumstantial evidence it’s now crystal clear that the powers that be are not interested or willing to mediate between the financially crunched Namibia Premier League (NPL) and potential financial backers, let alone being receptive to the pleas of hundreds of destitute young athletes who have been left jobless and without income as a result of the ongoing saga.

Almost three quarters of the football season have lapsed but the country’s flagship football league is yet to get out of first gear in the absence of a proper sponsor after the league’s principal backer MTC pulled the plug on the NPL.
Yours truly has been closely following casual comments by our esteemed Head of State Dr Hage Geingob regarding the quagmire in which domestic football currently finds itself.

His reaction to questions about his position on the state of local football left me baffled to say the least, as I’m now swimming in a pool of confusion as to what he really meant by saying the issue has not been brought to his attention by the relevant authorities.
This reminds me of a classic case of a parent who is fully aware that his children are not attending classes and sees them everyday wandering around the neighbourhood but rather chooses not to act until he receives a formal notification from the school principal alerting him that his kids don’t come to school – HELLO! This is against any form of conventional wisdom.

Fair enough, protocol dictates that due process must first take its course but common sense also tells us that we should not wait until irreparable damage has been committed before intervention is applied.

Did I correctly hear the honourable President stating that he is unwilling or rather reluctant to interfere in the internal affairs of domestic football, rightly so as per directives from the world’s football governing body Fifa?

Fifa does not allow governments’ interference in the internal affairs of local associations but yet expects the very same governments to finance their respective national football teams and avail financial guarantees whenever their respective nations are bidding to host august events.

As much as we have to respect and adhere to Fifa’s strong stance on government interference in football affairs, as a nation we also have a moral obligation to look beyond Fifa’s stance and spare a thought for the hundreds of young jobless Namibians currently roaming the streets.

So can we still say they (the hundreds of jobless footballers) are Fifa’s problem? No!, they are Namibians and will remain a Namibian problem and hence a solution is urgently needed from government.

It’s incumbent upon the head of state as the designated commander-in-chief to call his subjects to order should they dismally fail to execute their functions in harmony with their terms of reference.

So, advocating for a change of guard within the democratically elected leadership of football administration does not amount to interference? I’m just asking.
Would yours truly then be crucified and classified as a troublesome fellow if I dare say that the continued absence of organized football is tantamount to denying those affected a right to earn a living.

What is happening now can be interpreted, and rightly so, as a serious transgression of the basic livelihood of young athletes whose existence on mother earth depends entirely on football.

Needless to make comparisons, but whenever a factory employing less than one hundred workers happens to fall foul of the current economic downturn, forcing them to close their doors for business with employees getting retrenched, the general outcry from politicians is enough to stop an enraged elephant bull right in his tracks. Selective morality!!.

So the powers that be are now flexing their muscles by ordering a full-scale investigation into the internal affairs of Namibian football. Well, it looks like some blokes have a total misinterpretation of justice or else how does one comprehend a situation where rules and laws are constantly applied differently?

Though, I would not have a problem in principle to have a public institution investigated but what is good for the goose should also be applicable to the gander, period!!!.

There have been more serious cases of financial mismanagement and maladministration, besides blatant practices of racism, in many a sporting discipline but nobody raised a finger to have these public institutions investigated on the misplaced assumption that they are autonomous bodies – notwithstanding the fact that they receive hefty annual grants from our government. I rest my case.


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