The country’s economic nosedive has taken the football fraternity along in the financial misery with the Brave Warriors struggling to keep up with players’ payments.
Sources close to the team have brought it into the light that players have not been paid their performance bonuses. This is in addition to the lack of funds for preparations towards the team’s participation in CHAN in Morocco next year.
Government has not been merciful to the football sector with yearly contributions having been cut from N$10 million to N$3 million. This, the football heads say has been the major blow for the past three years.
Namibia Football Association President Frans Mbidi acknowledged the financial turbulence that have hit his body again and pleaded with the players to be patient.
“It is unfortunate that our funds only come in bulk and limited. I understand that we have short-paid their [players] performance bonuses and we can only ask them to be patient. What we owe them will be paid when we get money,” Mbidi said without disclosing the figure.
The situation however seems to be a frequent visitor to the football house, only that this time it holds the critical cards. When the Brave Warriors walked over Comoros to get a spot in the CHAN competition early this year, the football house President instructed the Secretary General to reward the players with an extra N$2000 on top of their appearance fees.
The team now finds itself in a thorny situation with inadequate funds ahead of their CHAN preparations. Barry Rukoro highlighted that they have submitted their budget to the director of CHAN three months ago but are yet to receive any response.
“This problem started three year ago. Journalists know where the problems are but you ignore these things. We submitted our budget for CHAN but we have not received any response. All we are told is that our budget has been forwarded to the finance minister. So we are three months late with preparations. These are the people you should be asking the questions to,” said Rukoro.
“Everywhere in the world, governments fund their national teams but it is not the case here. What other teams from other countries would spend on one single match is our yearly budget here at home. We can only perform when we have the resources,” he added.
The Secretary General pointed out that the team currently has to prepare for CHAN but without the funds, they remain in the dark as to whether they will indeed participate.
Rukoro said prices for accommodation and air tickets have gone up and this will make it even more difficult, if no funds are availed for the team.
A motivated Brave Warriors with face regional strongholds Zimbabwe tomorrow at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in the third edition of the Dr. Hage Geingob Cup. While the team sees the match as a must-win, the game will also serve as preparation for the CHAN games, seeing that 90 percent of the players have been retained.
“Let us come to the stadium and pay that ticket to support the team. That money will cover a lot of costs for the team players and their welfare,” said Rukoro.
Zimbabwe is expected in town on Friday and so are the match officials from South Africa. Match tickets are selling for N$ 30 each at Football House and at Pick n Pay outlets countrywide. The dress code will be red with the match to kick off at 16h00.
The match will be preceded by a match between the Brave Gladiators against the Young Gladiators at 13h00.
The 23 Brave Warriors: Edward Maova, Charles Uirab, Lodyt Kazapua, Ferdinand Karongee, Tiberius Lombard, Charles Hambira, Tjiuana-tja Tjinotjiua, Larry Horaeb, Edmund Kambanda, Dynamo Fredericks, Immanuel Heita, Hendrick Somaeb, Petrus Shitembi, Ronald Ketjijere, Denzil Haoseb, Absalom Iimbondi, Roger Katjiteo, Christiaan Jakobus, Panduleni Nekundi, Junias Theophilus, Wangu Gome, Riaan Hanamub and Peter Shalulile.