Tension as Namibia follows FIFA roadmap

Operations have never been the same at the Namibia Football Association (NFA) Head Office ever since FIFA’s Botswana-based development officer Ashford Mamelodi called for elections in all soccer-affiliated organs in the country.

Mamelodi gave soccer administrators a FIFA roadmap, which they are supposed to adhere to until a new constitution is drafted next January. The Roadmap was released following turmoil from the regional chairpersons, who used their majority voting rights to unconstitutionally remove the NFA Executive Committee from office.

Blue Waters owner, Hendrik Dawids, and Namibian Premier League Chairperson, Anton Van Wyk, led the region’s uproar and FIFA intervened to keep the Executive Committee in power, with the result of van Wyk’s being suspended from his post.

Mamelodi established an Interim Committee in July to run the affairs of the NFA, where both members of the Executive Committee and regional affiliates agreed to a power-sharing structure which would oversee the elections of all football organs.

However, elections in the last nine of the 13 regions have seen victories being posted for the sympathisers of the regional chairpersons who were largely blamed for bringing chaos to soccer.

The NFA Extra-Ordinary Conference will be convened on the 28 of October, according to the FIFA Roadmap. After this event, elections will be held to put a new NFA leadership into office. The regional faction is already basking itself in pre-election glory as it has already amassed enough seats to vote them into office.

Regional elections in the Khomas, Karas, Kunene, Omaheke, Caprivi, Omusati, Otjozondjupa, Ohangwena, Erongo and Oshikoto regions, as well as elections in the Namibia Premier League and the Nationwide First Division, have seen all the out-of-favour chairpersons retaining their positions.

NPL Chairman, Anton Van Wyk, has hinted that, “all should not be surprised to see us, who have been labelled rebels, take over that office. We have the backing of the regions already.”

Such recent developments will squeeze the sponsors, Namibia Football Consortium, who seemed to side with the Executive Committee that is now losing its power. The sponsors had placed a moratorium on its N$40 million sponsorship in June, calling for the Executive Committee to reclaim its authority and stop the squabbles allegedly caused by the rebelling regions. The sponsors will now be tested on whether they will stand on FIFA’s roadmap or whether they will stand with certain individuals should the current Executive Committee lose power at the Extra-Ordinary Congress.

Between now and October 28, FIFA has allowed both factions, one led by NFA acting President John Muinjo, and the other led by Van Wyk and Dawids, to campaign.

The latter, however, believe that the fight has already been won during the regional elections: “FIFA gave us the ball and it was played into the hands of the current executive committee, but we have now taken over everything and I am certain we are already in charge of ther game now,” Van Wyk told local media.

There is much tension in the football administrator’s offices at the moment and local football analyst and commentator, Jacks Amaning, believes it might explode before the October 28 Congress. “It has become more personal now, because some people know that if they leave office, they might be prosecuted for the alleged misappropriation of funds, while for others, football has been all their life,” he said.

As such, the Namibian Premier League is the biggest loser as games will not commence until mid-November because of the tension.

“We must have a national executive in place. Those elections are due on the 28th of October and the league can start only after that,” he said.

He said the NPL would hold an annual general meeting after they had resolved the issues concerning small clubs, such as Chief Santos and Touch and Go.

However, there is speculation that the NPL annual general meeting will only be meant for Van Wyk to announce his successor as he will taking over the NFA.

September 2006
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