Newly-elected Namibia Football Association (NFA) president Robert Shimooshili and his executive committee have barely been in office for a week before being confronted by a host of problems in Namibian football.
This after yesterday’s Premier League match between Orlando Pirates and Life Fighters had to be abandoned after the power was cut at the Independence Stadium due to an unpaid bill, while more structural challenges have put proposed matches on hold at the Sam Nujoma Stadium for the foreseeable future.
Besides that, the affairs of former powerhouse Black Africa are now in disarray, with two factions fighting for control and a planned march and petition by disgruntled members to NFA headquarters set for today.
Otjiwarongo-based Life Fighters travelled 250km to Windhoek for their fixture against Pirates yesterday, and with the players already kitted out and ready to play, the match had to be called off after the power was cut because of reported debt of N$500 000 outstanding by the sport ministry to the City of Windhoek.
NFA interim secretary general Jochen Traut yesterday confirmed that the ministry did not pay their bills, leading to water and electricity cuts.
“They have to sort it out, we just rent the stadium from the ministry. We played there over the weekend and I thought it was all sorted out but it was cut off yesterday,” he said.
Traut, however, said the power was later reconnected and several more Debmarine Namibia Premiership matches are scheduled for the venue this weekend.
“The ministry reconnected the power at 21h00 last night, but by then it was too late. But I heard they committed to pay today and the weekend’s matches will go ahead,” he said.
By yesterday morning, the Namibia Premier Football League made some more changes to the weekend’s fixtures, with eight matches now scheduled for the Independence Stadium over the weekend.
According to their original fixtures for Rounds 10 and 11, sent out earlier in the week, some matches were due to take place at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, but the City of Windhoek has since said the stadium will not be operational for some time.
“The City of Windhoek’s Sam Nujoma Stadium is temporarily unavailable for sports activities as structural engineers are busy conducting an investigation into its structural movements. The investigation will be done in various phases and once the investigation is complete, a report will be submitted to the City of Windhoek by 30 April 2024, outlining the necessary repairs to bring the stadium up to required standards.
“The stadium was handed over to Windhoek Consulting Engineers on 2 November, for this structural investigation,” the City of Windhoek noted on its social media pages on Wednesday.
Wednesday’s match between Pirates and Life Fighters was rescheduled for yesterday afternoon, with some late changes made. Pirates’ match against Unam, scheduled for tonight, has been postponed, while Eeshoke Chula Chula’s match against Khomas Nampol, originally set for 11h00 on Sunday, will now take place at 19h00.
BLACK AFRICA IN DISARRAY
Besides the unavailability of stadiums, a power struggle at former powerhouse Black Africa has erupted, threatening the start of the Southern Stream First Division (SSFD), also due to kick off this weekend.
According to a statement issued by a faction of Black Africa on Wednesday, Kandas Paulino was elected chairman of a new executive committee which also included Okeri Mbingeneeko and Doris Lamperth among others, at an annual general meeting (AGM) on 8 July.
The SSFD, however, headed by newly-elected NFA vice president Murs Markus, said the AGM in July was unconstitutional and that the only constitution that was in force was adopted on 26 October 2020.
At the time, a new committee was elected, with Lucky Richter as chairman, including Tommi Adams and former star player Lolo Goraseb.
Richter has since died, but Goraseb yesterday confirmed that Adams was now the acting chairman of Black Africa.
“After Ranga Haikali gave the team back to the community, we adopted a new constitution on 26 October 2020 and elected a new leadership. We don’t recognise their AGM in July this year and in fact advised them not to convene one. They need to respect good governance and the constitutional provisions of the NFA, you can’t just allow anyone from the streets to come and change things,” he said.
Mbingeneeko, however, on Tuesday wrote a letter to Shimooshili, giving notice of an appeal against Murs’ decision and requesting the establishment of an appeals committee to adjudicate the case before the commencement of the SSFD, which is due to kick off this weekend.
A group of Black Africa supporters, led by Shaun Asprilla Gariseb, held a meeting on Wednesday and vowed to deliver a petition to the NFA today.
“Black Africa is in a difficult situation at the moment, there are unusual circumstances, so we have requested that our league matches are postponed until this problem is solved once and for all. We are calling for a referendum where we can choose the leadership we want. We will deliver our petition to Robert Shimooshili and Namibia’s football leadership at Soccer House at 11h00 on Friday,” he said.
Black Africa, however, is due to play Latinos at the Ramblers Stadium tomorrow afternoon, but Gariseb said they plan to disrupt the match.
“We won’t allow Black Africa’s match to take place on Saturday, we will hold a demonstration at the field.”
Goraseb, however, vowed that the match will go ahead.
“They must follow the correct procedures, there are rules and regulations, and there will be law enforcement agencies to ensure that the match goes ahead,” he said.
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