'NFA leaders must stop with the lies'

Former Namibia Football Association president Frans Mbidi has warned against the damage caused by unfounded accusations made in the association's leadership structures.

13 January 2022 | Sports

JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA

WINDHOEK



Former Namibia Football Association president Frans Mbidi is pleading with those in NFA leadership positions to be honest with Fifa and the Namibian nation.

A Fifa delegation is in the country for a fact-finding mission and to assess the chaos which has brought football to a halt in Namibia.

The NFA president is sceptical whether the mission will yield the desired results if those in leadership positions remain dishonest.

“Those in NFA leadership positions have to be honest and tell the nation and Fifa what really transpired.

“Yes, they have been accusing each other and levelling allegations, but they do not have any solid proof against each other.

“I will not believe in the allegations until they are honest and provide the actual truth as to why football is still a mess,” Mbidi fumed.

Mbidi says he is confident that things in football will change for the better if people are honest about why they are still at each other's throats.



Self-enrichment

The former president has expressed concern over the tit-for-tat allegations against NFA leaders, which he believes are motivated by self-enrichment.

The former president maintains that he chooses to be neutral in the current infighting.

“I am not choosing any side but I am here to advocate for peace and honesty in the beautiful game.

“It is not fair that people are trying to enrich themselves even when the association is underfunded.

“The biggest mistake leaders make is trying to enrich themselves while those that matter most - the players and some club owners - are suffering,” Mbidi noted.



Be clean

Mbidi advises those in the current NFA leadership to keep their hands out of the cookie jar.

“People that have abused state funds have ended up in prison and so we hope that this is not the case at the NFA.

“They must work hard and sweat for the money and not just try and make it the easy way.”

He fears that corporate Namibia and the government will turn their backs on the association if the situation persists.



Message to Fifa

The former president is urging Fifa to establish the facts behind allegations.

“Fifa must really investigate and get the facts, which will help them solve the situation.”

Mbidi was dismissed by the NFA executive committee in 2018 amid a turf war within the association, which eventually led to intervention by Fifa and the appointment of a so-called normalisation committee by the global football body.

The ousting of Mbidi was followed by that of the association's long- serving secretary-general, Barry Rukoro. The normalisation committee then surrendered the association to its new leadership, which was elected in February 2020.

Two years after Mbidi's acrimonious dismissal, the football association is yet again at war with itself after a spat that led to the ousting of president Ranga Haikali and its executive.

A divided NFA executive, including the secretariat, has been at the centre of the infighting months after the new football hierarchy assumed power.

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