Govt backs Mbidi

Sport cannot be managed through hatred, anger, nepotism, tribalism or personal interest, the sports minister said.

07 November 2018 | Sports

Sports minister Erastus Uutoni has advised the Namibia Football Association (NFA) to reinstate its fired president, Frans Mbidi.

Uutoni further urged sport administrators to refrain from managing sport while breeding hatred among each other.

He also advised the football body and many other sport codes, where administrators are at loggerheads, to fix and amend their constitutions, which will help with governance.

This follows Mbidi's firing by the NFA executive committee recently for alleged insubordination.

“Our investigation through the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) has in this regard revealed that some constitutional provisions have been overlooked in the process leading to the dismissal of the incumbent president.

“The NFA exco did not comply with its statues in the process of administering a verdict of dismissal of their president,” Uutoni said.

The minister advised that the NFA congress be held on the initial date in December and not in January, as the NFA exco recently proposed.

Uutoni emphasised the importance of administrators rallying behind each other, rather than tarnishing each other's reputations.

“Sport cannot be managed through hatred, anger, nepotism, tribalism or personal interest, but through sober minds, unity, love for one another and love toward the game of sport.

The minister warned the infighting among sport administrators is slowly leading to a loss of confidence and trust, and is demoralising sport lovers.

He believes these squabbles are pushing young people away from football.

“To be honest, the sport sector is big enough to accommodate each and every one of us. We just need to work hard, in unity, to ensure that all those who wish to partake feel welcomed and free to contribute to its development.”

Utoni said government is not interfering in football affairs, but is giving advice, given that it funds football through the sports commission.

The current chaos started in 2016 when Mbidi suspended NFA secretary-general Barry Rukoro for alleged insubordination.

Rukoro, who has been in his post for over decade, has survived the chop on several occasions and was reinstated, given his strong influence over the NFA executive committee.

Mbidi on the other hand wanted to make his presence felt and fix things he believed were not being done correctly at the association, when he became president in 2014.

Many people, including Mbidi, feel that Rukoro has overstayed his welcome and that he should make space for someone else.

Those close to the SG felt that Mbidi wanted to breach the NFA constitution by standing for another term.

Rukoro further accused Mbidi of tarnishing his name and the name of the NFA in front of Fifa, Cosafa and CAF officials.

This year, attempts to oust Mbidi began after he attempted to remove Rukoro once again.

In February, Mbidi announced that the football association would not renew Rukoro's contract, but this was overturned by the executive.

Fifa is also backing Mbidi and said it does not recognise his ousting.

Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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