Afcon prize saga still unresolved

The Brave Warriors team that played Mali at Afcon 2023. Photo: Helge Schütz

The Brave Warriors will this week decide whether to accept just over a quarter of the N$15 million Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) 2023 prize money from the Namibia Football Association (NFA), the team’s legal representative Kadhila Amoomo said yesterday.

The funds are Namibia’s reward for reaching the round of 16 at Afcon 2023, a historic first at the competition, held in the Ivory Coast in January and February,

The Brave Warriors want the full amount to be divided among them, while the NFA said yesterday that it would only give them 27% and use the rest to host the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) under-17 Youth Championships later this year.

It remains to be seen if that sum will appease the Brave Warriors or further fuel the hostile stand-off between the parties.

“We remain on standby to be aggressive against them. They are yet to formally communicate with us and once they do, we will consult our clients and decide on a position that is in the interest of the nation,” Amoomo said in reaction to the NFA’s announcement.

The NFA executive council arrived at the decision following a meeting on the sidelines of the Nedbank Namibian Newspaper Cup at Gobabis yesterday, said the national football body’s president Robert Shimooshili.

“The executive council resolved, taking into consideration all the facts related to the matter, inclusive of whether the contract signed between the association and the players has been honoured or not, that we are pleased to announce that the contract has been honoured in full,” said Shimooshili.

“What has been promised to the players, the association with the support from the government, has been honoured in full.

“However, we resolved to set aside 27 % of this prize money for the players and technical team. We are aware that there is some kind of labour [dispute] road taken. Immediately once that one ceases, the players and technical team will be given that money.

“We received the request from Cosafa that Namibia has been accorded the opportunity, it was during the Afcon time, to host the under-17 Cosafa youth tournament by the end of the year.

So, the remainder of the money will be utilised to upgrade our infrastructure in order for us to host that tournament as Namibia for the benefit of everyone in this country.”

Through Amoomo Legal Practitioners, the Brave Warriors petitioned the NFA last week to implore the federation to stick with the agreement signed between the team and NFA vice president Markus Murs on 10 January regarding the disbursement of royalties from Afcon 2023.

In particular, the agreement states: “In case of sponsorship or rewards of any kind to the team during the tournament, the benefits shall be equally shared among the players and technical staff.”

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