Namibian football body ousted
Zambian-born Bamfuchile resigned as his country’s interim national team coach to take up a three-year contract as the new mentor for Namibia’s Brave Warriors. However, the appointment has been postponed as divisions rocked the national association for the better part of the week. The divisions are alleged to have emanated from a FIFA Goal Project evaluation report which called for the removal of the national team technical director, Seth Boois, and NFA secretary general Alphaeus Gawaseb from office. Both men were instrumental in the appointment of Bamfuchile, who scooped national favourite Shepherd Murape for the coveted job. “Everything has been put on hold by this politicking which is now being attributed to racism by some administrators, but I hope the issue of the national coach won’t be affected that much,” said the head of NFA disciplinary committee, Barry Rukoro . The FIFA Goal Project delegation, which was led by Botswana’s Archford Mamelodi and Ghanaian Ben Kouffie, expressed concern over the incompetence of the NFA executive, particularly secretary general Gawaseb, in meeting FIFA’s development objectives. “If you want to continue receiving FIFA funds, get rid of these incompetent officials,” said Mamelodi during the evaluation exercise. Gawaseb failed to convincingly account for the US$120 000 that the world soccer governing body pumps into all the countries involved with the Goal Project. According to Rukoro and NFA spokesperson Beau Kauta, it was this threat of halting funding that prompted the dissolution of the NFA executive committee. An interim committee, led by Blue Waters Football Club owner Hendrik Dawids, was put in charge by the 12 affiliate regional chairpersons who have veto power. It is in this regard that Bamfuchile, who was supposed to assume duties as soon as possible, would now begin his induction any day after tomorrow, according to the NFA. None of the NFA officials could confirm whether Bamfuchile had signed the contract but The Southern Times has ascertained that the Zambian was only faxed the offer and was supposed to sign it on his unveiling. According to Boois, a lot of developments had been blocked by the hijacking of the executive committee with the main worry being the sponsors’ threat to withdraw the annual N$8 million sponsorship. Bamfuchile’s salary is supposedly coming from the money of the sponsoring consortium companies, First National Bank, Mobile Telecommunication (MTC) and Namibia Breweries Limited. Besides issuing the moratorium, the sponsors have called on NFA to host an emergency extraordinary congress as soon as possible ‘ a move viewed by many as their support to the coup. The hijacking of the John Muinjo-led executive means that any activity of his board would be deemed unconstitutional and Boois said: “Although we have targeted our coach, we do not want to involve him now and embarrass ourselves later.” Coup leader Dawids is the owner of the club coached by Murape. Local football has been subjected to constant allegations of tribalism and this week, various letters were circulated in daily newspapers alleging that the coup was tribally motivated. “There is this belief that people are fighting for power because of tribal preferences, but I can assure you that has nothing to do with FIFA. FIFA only advised for stern action to be taken against incompetent people,” said FIFA instructor and Namibia referees director Boy Boy Ndjadhila. Boois and Gawaseb are both of the Damara tribe. Rukoro, in turn, denied that Bamfuchile’s assistant would be Brian Issacks ‘ also of Damara origin ‘ as Boois had indicated in an earlier interview. The Brave Warriors will be in action on July 21 in a Cosafa Castle Cup Group C tie against Seychelles. According to Rukoro, the new coach faces the dilemma of player selection as he will not have any idea of the players, “who might also be rusty by then since the league has ended already”. Meanwhile, Bamfuchile’s departure leaves a vacuum in the Zambian squad which will now remain without a coach because former coach Kalusha Bwalya refused to renew his contract. The Ministry of Sports says it is considering hiring an expatriate coach. “We are approaching the issue of hiring a coach with a broad perspective for we want to pick only the best available coach and I cannot rule out the possibility of us having a foreign coach. “I am not saying our local coaches are not capable, but that there certain things that you need to look at,” said Sports Minister George Chulumanda at a Press briefing in Lusaka on Wednesday.