Let's give 'normalisation' a chance

11 February 2019 | Columns

In typical Namibian fashion, self-styled football commentators and keyboard warriors on social media have already started casting aspersions over the newly unveiled normalisation committee members who have been identified by Fifa to run the affairs of Namibia Football Association (NFA) in the interim. On Friday, the normalisation committee was officially made known, with businesswoman Hilda Basson-Namundjebo appointed as chairperson, while Franco Cosmos was announced as vice-chairperson. The other committee members are former Olympic shooter Gabby Ahrens, Matti Mwandingi and Vivienne Katjiuongua. The term of office for the five members started with immediate effect and it is expected to run for a period of four months according to Veron Mosengo-Omba, the Fifa director of member associations and development in Africa and the Caribbean. The inclusion of the five members has divided opinion, with a number of social media users criticising the composition of the normalisation committee. While it is everyone's expectation that the said committee has experience in running football-related programmes or initiatives it is really the structure, independence and composition of the normalisation committee that matters in order for it to fulfil its role effectively. Prior to their appointment, an integrity test on the five members was also carried out by the FIFA review committee. It is also worth noting that the normalisation committee acts as an electoral committee and none of its members will be eligible for any of the open positions in the elections. In four months' time, Namibian football will probably sport a new leadership and it is important that we stop all the whining and fury to allow the committee to concentrate on its work. If there is anything that we should pray for, it is for the incoming leadership to rejuvenate football structures across the country, including grassroots development that has been taking significant backwards steps over the years. Namibian football must evolve and this will require as us to put our selfish interests and loyalties aside, in order to focus on the bigger picture, which is to save Namibian football from falling deeper into the doldrums.