NFA ordered to probe COSAFA incident

Brave Warriors midfielder Rudi Louw, defender Edward Damaseb and winger Freedom Puriza are the palyers allegedly at the centre of the Mpumalanga furore, but the NFA has defended them saying a fire extinguisher had been accidentally tripped by players, resulting in the hotel room being messed up.

Konyore blasted the association for protecting “guilty players” and threatened government intervention if such national tragedies continue to be handled with “kid gloves”.

“I want the NFA to report to me directly on this matter because it was a disgrace to the nation of Namibia,” Konjore said at a function to honour the country’s best footballers for the just-ended season.

According to Kickoff, a South African football magazine, three Namibian players trashed their room, setting off a fire extinguisher and causing damage estimated at R5 000.

NFA had already closed doors on investigations into the COSAFA incident with a statement that defended the players saying that the report was not true.

“The issue has been blown out of proportion and the COSAFA Cup organising committee had decided that it was not necessary to take steps against the Namibian delegation,” NFA spokesperson Beau Kauta had said, moments before the minister’s speech.

“After the minister’s statement, we are now going to reopen this issue, because government is the main shareholder of football in this country and we would not want to be seen in contrast with our bosses,” said the NFA.

This is the second time that Namibian players have misbehaved in a COSAFA tournament. While hosting the 2006 COSAFA tournament, Namibian players made headlines by evading hotel officials and bringing “unwelcome” guests into the Kalahari Sands Hotel, an incident which led to the suspension of three senior players.

“You can never condone or defend what is wrong. I want this matter addressed as a matter of urgency, or else my ministry will be left with no option but do something that the tax-payers will be satisfied with. Even if you know your dog is bad, you do not need to be told by others. It was such a humiliation reading of the team’s behaviour,” said a visibly angry Konjore.

Meanwhile, Namibian international and Civics defender-cum-midfielder Jamu Ngatjizeko won the 2008 Namibian Player of the Year.

Ngatjizeko, a vital cog in the Brave Warriors throughout the 2008 Nations Cup campaign and the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, made history by becoming the first defender to win the award in a decade, at the Namibia Football Association’s (NFA) annual awards ceremony last week.

His club, Civics, finished second to Orlando Pirates in the premiership race. But according to Civics owner, Helmuth Scharnowski, finished second because the defender was on national commitments.

At a poorly organised function, Ngatjizeko won the award ahead of Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Athiel Mbaha and Ramblers Liberian forward John Samson.

Under-20 and African Stars anchor Edison Muheua won the Young Player of The Year award while Pineas Jacob scooped the Golden Boot after scoring 12 goals during the season.

August 2008
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