Get your house in order, Hage tells football bosses… Mbidi accuses ‘Big Four’ of sabotage

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Carlos Kambaekwa

Windhoek-President Hage Geingob says the ongoing wrangles in domestic football is becoming a nuisance and quite worrisome to the country at large, as it is affecting many people, including himself.

Geingob was responding to presentations and the latest updates on local football matters made by Namibia Football Association (NFA) president Frans Mbidi at State House yesterday.

Mbidi briefed the Namibian Head of State during a session attended by Minister of Youth and Sports Jerry Ekandjo, members of the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) and local media practitioners.

In his remarks, Mbidi accused disgruntled members of the disbanded Namibia Premier League (NPL) Interim Committee of playing hide-and-seek.

“As per article 41 of the NFA statutes dealing with emergency cases, NFA has the powers to appoint or take over the operations of any of its affiliates, because we can only recognise elected leaders.

“Let me make it categorically clear that we (NFA) have no intentions, or ambitions whatsoever to run the internal affairs of the NPL. Each and every single detail was explained why the NFA has resolved to disband the NPL Interim Committee to the affected members and none of those present at that meeting opposed the decision,” Mbidi said.

He further charged that – to his great surprise – he later received a request from one of the members to remove Roger Kambatuku, chairman of the newly appointed NFA ad hoc committee.

“I asked him to put it in writing and provide us with solid reasons for the removal, but up to this day, we have not received that request in writing.”

The agitated NFA honcho also took a swipe at the Katutura big four (African Stars, Black Africa, Tigers and Orlando Pirates), branding the quartet as “spoiled brats”.

“These teams have chosen to discredit football in their desperate effort to seek preferential treatment, but there are no big teams in Namibian football. All are equal; they just want to bring football into disrepute,” he alleged.

According to Mbidi, there are currently only 13 properly registered teams in the country’s flagship 16-team football league. “As we speak now, three clubs don’t have enough players to register – hence their blatant efforts to disrupt the league’s kick off,” Mbidi shot back at his detractors.

Geingob, however, noted that the lack of premiership football in the country makes it very difficult for players to compete internationally and for the development of grassroots players and structures.

“I’m aware that we lost 1-0 against Guinea Bissau in the AFCON qualifier away from home last weekend, which is a commendable outcome for a team that did not have sufficient preparation.

“We have created our own problems and this affects other purposes as well,’ charged Geingob, before urging the attendant football bosses to get their house in order and make sure premiership football activities in the country are normalized and back on track.

A clearly fed-up Ekandjo sought an explanation from the NFA hierarchy as to why the very same organ dragged along the all-of-a-sudden “illegal” NPL Interim Committee to State House during an earlier visit – only to wake up now and suddenly realise that the NPL Interim Committee was illegally constituted.

The former Robben Island political prisoner reminded Mbidi and his henchmen to follow the correct procedures in future and not just jump the queue by running to State House to seek intervention from the Head of State at every turn.

“Protocol suggests that, should you have any disagreements, you should first go to the Namibia Sport Commission (NSC) before taking your case to the relevant ministry,” concluded Ekandjo before requesting the NFA bosses to sort out the ongoing shenanigans in domestic football as a matter of urgency, as hordes of football fans, aspiring youth and professional players are badly affected by the current situation.

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