The Namibian football authorities are involved in heated boardroom squabbles while the football fraternity continues to await the return of top-flight football in the country. After months of hard work and talks with corporate Namibia, the work of Namibia Premier League (NPL) Interim Committee now rests in the hands of their mother body, Namibia Football Association(NFA). According to a source close to the negotiations that led to the securing of funds for the hamstrung NPL, The Patriot understands MTC has asked the interim committee to approach its mother body to get permission to sign off the sponsorship money for the league. In the wake of the resignation of Johnny Doeseb early this year, the NPL held an Extra-ordinary General Meeting and resolved to appoint five interim management committee members to run the affairs of the league for the next six months. The five are chairperson of the committee Franco Cosmos (Blue Waters FC), Evaristus Evaristus (UNAM FC), Gabriel Tjombe (Eleven Arrows FC), Victor Hamunyela (Civics FC) and Ranga Haikali (Black Africa FC). The committee was mandated with the task to convene a Board of Governance meeting, source a sponsor for the league as well as call for an elective congress within six months to elect new leadership.
The committee is understood to have engaged several stakeholders such as MTC, Namibia Breweries Limited and the First National Bank to fund the league. Through productive meetings, all three entities committed to fund the league with MTC giving N$15 million and both FNB and NBL giving N$5 million each which amounts to N$25 million annually and subsequently N$75 million for three years. In a turn of events, it has emerged that MTC allegedly requested the interim committee to call on NFA to provide the interim committee with the rights to sign off the promised N$15 million sponsorship. In an attempt to get the directive from the NFA, the source said NFA was not forthcoming with support.
“The response to the committee suggest that the only standing authority that can sign off the money on behalf of the committee is the NFA,” the source said. When contacted for comment, Mbidi said the NFA does not recognise any interim committees, adding that “NFA is willing to act on behalf of the committee.” “I have already communicated to the interim committee that I am willing to sign on their behalf,” said Mbidi. Football enthusiasts were of the view that the fracas between football authorities were put to bed when the football heavyweights were summoned to State House last month to put the hullabaloo to sleep and focus on blowing the whistle for football to kick-off in the country. “What is surprising in this saga is how MTC engaged and sat with the committee but now need the blessings from the NFA. Why do you engage with people who are not recognised in the first place? And is it really fair that the NFA president who has not been part of the negotiations now gets to be the one to sign off the money?” questioned the source.
The source also laid bare that the roadblock that might disturb the kickoff of the league is a deliberate effort to punish the heads of the committee who also happen to be part of the teams that snubbed the Debmarine Namibia Cup. The country’s biggest clubs-Orlando Pirates, Black Africa, Tigers, African Stars, Blue Waters and Chief Santos- decided to boycott the NFA cup. The source further claimed that there are fears should the six teams be suspended or expelled, it might prompt potential sponsors to pull out. “Who would sponsor a league without Orlando Pirates, Black Africa, Tigers, African Stars, Blue Waters and Chief Santos? This situation really needs to be solved because the Namibian nation is looking forward to the new season,” said the source.