From the Sidelines

From the Sidelines

THERE is currently an ongoing debate that the axing of both Alpheus Gaweseb as Namibia Football Association (NFA) secretary general and former Brave Warriors team manager Markus Damaseb was based on tribalism.

I have a serious concern with this notion because it firstly defeats the Government’s policy of national reconciliation and it can also lead to an explosive situation which can be detrimental to the existence of the game in the country. Tribalism in itself is a very sensitive issue, as we all have witnessed in our own country and around the world.It has destroyed nations because it usually results in war.It is extremely divisive to judge people along tribal lines, especially when it comes to jobs, in this case football.True, all new leaders bring in their own people who will be loyal to them.This generally happens with people that are elected and it is not a strange scenario, be in political leadership or in football administration.Firstly, the current composition of the NFA executive committee is a mix of some of the most prominent tribes in Namibia and they were all elected at a democratically declared congress.With their different tribal backgrounds, they sat and decided that something needs to be done in terms of administration at Soccer House.They decided to axe the chief accounting officer, Gaweseb, obviously based on their findings why he should go.That also goes for Damaseb.People just don’t get fired for doing nothing wrong.To be honest, most of the people in the football fraternity were not happy with the services of Gaweseb over the years and this has reached a point where the new executive felt that he was not the right man for the job.The same goes for Damaseb.He had a hands-on job (that of managing the logistics of the Brave Warriors) and this was possibly not to the satisfaction of the ones who he served.Now, the incompetence of individuals in failing to effectively execute their tasks and being of a certain tribe are two different things.It will be a worrying factor if the current executive committee, which is composed of people from different ethnic groups, would simply dismiss the two because they are Damaras.The rumour mill has it that NFA president John Muinjo wants to get rid of all the Damaras from Soccer House and instead appoint Hereros.It is unfortunately sad to think along those lines, as the image of the game has already suffered so much humiliation locally and internationally.Debating about tribes within the structures of the body will not bring the game anywhere.There is no time to debate on whether Damaras, Hereros or Owambos should run football in the country.The bottom line should be that whoever is put in a position, should be suitable to carry out the tasks that are required from him or her.I think that the issue of tribalism is a non-starter and should not be entertained at all.As a citizen of this country, I believe that whenever people are being appointed in football positions, or any other for that matter – the issue of colour, political affiliation or tribe should be eliminated.Merit should be the key word.I appeal to the NFA executive to punish whoever makes tribalist remarks in especially the appointment of officials in the game.There is no time for labelling each other because it is too dangerous and it can do irreparable damage.Football is a national sport and needs input from all sectors of society and the major stakeholders, in this case the nation, should support all the efforts of the association to make Namibian football a success.The association should also be genuine when appointing these individuals and play according to the policy of affirmative action.They should guard against favouritism because their judgement in appointing these people will make or break football in the end.So, people should refrain from tribalism and embrace whatever changes that are being made within football.It is for the better, I should think.Tribalism in itself is a very sensitive issue, as we all have witnessed in our own country and around the world.It has destroyed nations because it usually results in war.It is extremely divisive to judge people along tribal lines, especially when it comes to jobs, in this case football.True, all new leaders bring in their own people who will be loyal to them.This generally happens with people that are elected and it is not a strange scenario, be in political leadership or in football administration.Firstly, the current composition of the NFA executive committee is a mix of some of the most prominent tribes in Namibia and they were all elected at a democratically declared congress.With their different tribal backgrounds, they sat and decided that something needs to be done in terms of administration at Soccer House.They decided to axe the chief accounting officer, Gaweseb, obviously based on their findings why he should go.That also goes for Damaseb.People just don’t get fired for doing nothing wrong.To be honest, most of the people in the football fraternity were not happy with the services of Gaweseb over the years and this has reached a point where the new executive felt that he was not the right man for the job.The same goes for Damaseb.He had a hands-on job (that of managing the logistics of the Brave Warriors) and this was possibly not to the satisfaction of the ones who he served.Now, the incompetence of individuals in failing to effectively execute their tasks and being of a certain tribe are two different things.It will be a worrying factor if the current executive committee, which is composed of people from different ethnic groups, would simply dismiss the two because they are Damaras.The rumour mill has it that NFA president John Muinjo wants to get rid of all the Damaras from Soccer House and instead appoint Hereros.It is unfortunately sad to think along those lines, as the image of the game has already suffered so much humiliation locally and internationally.Debating about tribes within the structures of the body will not bring the game anywhere.There is no time to debate on whether Damaras, Hereros or Owambos should run football in the country.The bottom line should be that whoever is put in a position, should be suitable to carry out the tasks that are required from him or her.I think that the issue of tribalism is a non-starter and should not be entertained at all.As a citizen of this country, I believe that whenever people are being appointed in football positions, or any other for that matter – the issue of colour, political affiliation or tribe should be eliminated.Merit should be the key word.I appeal to the NFA executive to punish whoever makes tribalist remarks in especially the appointment of officials in the game.There is no time for labelling each other because it is too dangerous and it can do irreparable damage.Football is a national sport and needs input from all sectors of society and the major stakeholders, in this case the nation, should support all the efforts of the association to make Namibian football a success.The association should also be genuine when appointing these individuals and play according to the policy of affirmative action.They should guard against favouritism because their judgement in appointing these people will make or break football in the end.So, people should refrain from tribalism and embrace whatever changes that are being made within football.It is for the better, I should think.

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