Former footballers want their bucks back
Windhoek – Former Brave Warriors versatile midfielder-cum-defender Razzie Tjikuzu has joined the chorus of discontent over the country’s governing football body, the Namibia Football Association’s (NFA) decision to call off envisaged coaching clinics.
The former Werder Bremen blue-eyed boy is among dozens of disgruntled former footballers who went viral on social networks expressing displeasure as they feel short-changed by the association.
The aggrieved retired footballers claim to have paid astronomical amounts of money for the FIFA-sponsored coaching course in an effort to pursue careers in coaching.
“We have been informed by the NFA Directorate that there would no coaching course this year as a result of insufficient funds.
“However, when I humbly requested that the money be refunded, I was told in no uncertain terms that ‘there is no money’, so what happened to the money that some of us have already paid?”
Well-known for his outspokenness, Tjikuzu minced no words and challenges the cash-strapped association to advance a thorough explanation as to what has become of the dubious hefty registration fee of N$1 500 per participant.
“To my knowledge, a total of thirty-four aspirant football coaches and active mentors paid in full the ‘required’ registration fee of N$1 500, totalling N$51 000.”
This whole unfolding saga has opened a can of worms, as it appears to be in total contrast to what the NFA president Frans Mbidi has advocated.
Mbidi was quoted in one of the local dailies as claiming that the only available funds at the association’s disposal are from world football governing body FIFA, meant for training administrators, coaches, referees and for other developmental programmes.
The NFA commander-in-chief is quoted in the same article to have said that the FIFA money cannot be used to finance national junior teams’ participation in the forthcoming Cosafa youth competitions.
“This is news to me, seriously I’m not aware of any coaching courses that have been put on halt or postponed indefinitely,” Mbidi shot back when approached for comment.
The NFA president added there are channels of communication that must be observed at all times. He politely urged complainants to follow proper protocol in airing their grievances and not just run to the media, adding that there might be a valid reason as to why the courses were postponed.
“Look, there are certain requirements, for instance if the number of participants is hopelessly too low FIFA cannot just send its facilitators and tutors to Namibia to come and train a paltry number of twelve participants – it would not make sense as such a practice would defeat the entire purpose.”
New Era Sport sought to have a word with the NFA secretary general Barry Rukoro, in an effort to find out about the association’s alleged refusing to refund the disgruntled participants but our efforts yielded very little success, as his mobile was continuously off.