12 September 2017

Namibia: NFA Seeks N$12m for Matches

Photo: Daily News
(file photo).

The Namibia Football Association (NFA) on Monday pleaded with corporate entities to invest over N$12 million needed for national teams' continued participation in international fixtures until the end of March 2018.

Government budget cuts across the board have severely affected the country's sports fraternity, with several sports codes having plans curtailed due to financial shortages.

The men's national under-17 football side is already one such casualty of the N$100 million sports budget cut as they were unable to defend their Cosafa Cup Youth Championship title in July.

The NFA's annual allocation was slashed from N$10 million to a paltry N$3,3 million.

To put the situation into context, it cost the NFA close to N$2 million for the Brave Warriors to honour their two 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Guinea Bissau in June.

Given the dire financial situation, the NFA, which has no income-generating avenues, is in particular fretting over the Brave Warriors' involvement in January's African Nations Championship in Kenya.

An NFA executive committee meeting held on the sidelines of the 2017 Skorpion Zinc under-17 Cup over the weekend projected that it would cost N$12,4 million to fulfil their international obligations.

The Brave Warriors aside, the NFA also has to foot the bill for the Brave Gladiators who play the Cosafa Women's Championships, which start in Zimbabwe this week, and the Junior Gladiators, who face South Africa in two World Cup qualification ties this month.

"Times are tough now, and we appeal to corporate Namibia to assist the NFA to prepare the Brave Warriors for the Kenya 2018 Chan finals, as well as all other national teams' participation in international events for the same period. It will be irresponsible for us not to share our plight with corporate Namibia and the general public, hence this public statement," NFA president Frans Mbidi told the association's website on Monday.

Namibia has a total of seven national football teams depending on the annual participation grant from the Namibia Sports Commission, which is expected to cover the players and officials' allowances, training camps, travelling and accommodation expenses.

The Namibian Sport understands that the NFA is expected to cough up around N$500 000 in appearance fees when the Brave Warriors win a match, while the figure drops to about N$280 000 for a draw and N$200 000 for a defeat. The amounts include wages for both players and the technical team.

Last year, NFA secretary general Barry Rukoro said they were struggling to motivate players called up for national duty due to outstanding appearance fees.

The FA's financial woes not only affected players, but also the association's secretariat, who do not always receive their salaries on time, Rukoro said.

The NFA is expected to discuss financial remedies at its upcoming 27th ordinary congress at Lüderitz on 30 September.

Also on the agenda is the state of the association report, audited financial report, and the budget.

Meanwhile, the NFA executive will attempt to accelerate players' development by setting up youth leagues in all regions.

"Youth leagues should also be reactivated in all the 14 football regions, and to encourage youth development activities at constituency level," said Mbidi.

"Constituency councillors should be engaged to render both financial and material support to these young players. At constituency level, players should be motivated by the chances of being selected to represent the region at national competitions, and eventually being selected to represent the country at international events.

"Subsequent to all these, lucrative playing careers could be realised either on the continent or overseas," he stated.

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