NFA should’ve gone to school

Jun 30, 2017

Jeremiah Ndjoze

WINDHOEK – The prevalent rot in the Namibian football would have been avoided, if local football administrators heeded the call to return to the school grounds when they had the chance to.   

In October 2012 the Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST), then known as the Polytechnic of Namibia entered into an agreement with the Namibia Football Association (NFA) which would have seen the two institutions co-operating towards the establishment of a short course on football management.

The relationship between the two institutions was formalised through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by NUST Vice-Chancellor, then Polytechnic Rector, Professor Tjama Tjivikua, and the NFA’s, Secretary General, Barry Rukoro.

At the signing ceremony, Tjivikua confirmed that the institution of higher learning reached out to the football governing body in cognizance of the pivotal role that sports can play in people development, both socially and economically.

“We engaged the NFA and reached an agreement with them for people development, as sport is essential for the physical and mental development, especially of young people,” Tjivikua said at the time.

He maintained that the engagement between the two institutions was aimed at fostering and nurturing development in soccer, as well as developing a supportive environment for local athletes and managers to succeed.

Rukoro also expressed his satisfaction over the establishment of the relationship, stating that the agreement between the two institutions would serve as a platform to take Namibian football to greater heights.

“We are excited about the knowledge which will be gained through this co-operation as this is about laying strong and solid foundations on which to build the future,” Rukoro said at the signing of the MoU.

“Also present at the signing ceremony was Ashford Mamelodi, FIFA Development Officer for Southern Africa. Mamelodi commended the NFA on the achievement.

“This is the first of its kind in African football and surely it goes to show how visionary the NFA is and serious about football development through responsible management and the whole of sport fraternity in the country would benefit from this agreement”.

The first intake for the management courses, according to the NFA website, was expected to take place in 2013.

However, by April 2013 talks of the course remained nothing but hot air from the side of soccer house. Responding to a telephonic query in 2013, Rukoro maintained that it was ‘too early for the intake to happen.’

Rukoro said, “We are launching something new here, so both parties are busy getting their houses in order and doing the necessary preparations as far as the content and structure of the course is concerned.”

He maintained that the parties involved – in this case the NFA and Polytech – will make an announcement on the intake and commencement of the courses at a later stage.

But in January 2014, a well-placed source at the educational institution revealed that the course was not going to be in the offing at the institution that year either.

The two entities were also expected to collaborate towards the establishment of a football sports institute or academy.

This agreement was at the time hailed as the first of its kind in Africa, between a football association and an institution of higher education.

Efforts to reach both Rukoro and Tjivikua proved futile by the time of going to press.

But a sports commentator who pleaded for anonymity confirmed that the talks of a course failed to materialize and the entities seemingly turned shoved the plans ‘under the carpet.’

“Many a time such agreements are just talks that never take shape and the media that is supposed to hold this people accountable tend to overlook some of these things,” the commentator told The Southern Times this week.

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