Namibia: 'Damning Findings' Against Ex-NFA Leadership

THE new president of the Namibia Football Association, Ranga Haikali on Tuesday said that 'damning findings' had been made against the body's former leadership following a new audit of its financial statements.

The world football body Fifa ordered that the NFA re-audit its financial statements, because they were not comfortable with the previous auditors of the NFA.

"I received a report on Friday from the auditors - I'm busy analysing it and will soon send it to Fifa. But I can say that there are damning findings against the previous leadership of the NFA and they have identified people who embezzled funds. My suggestion is that we get a summary of the auditors' report and then we publish it in the media before we act on it," he said.

"It's very important for all the stakeholders like the ministry of sport and the media to know these findings. The NFA as a public institution has to be defended - let the public know and be informed and also give their input. It wont be a smooth ride, but we will make recommendations for action," he added.

Haikali said it will cost a lot of money to implement the recommendations of the auditors.

"We will have to act on their recommendations, but we can't just accept it. It will cost a lot of money, we will have to appoint lawyers and they are not cheap. Furthermore, it will cost at least N$170 000 to hold an extraordinary congress where the financial statements need to be signed off," he said.

Haikali also bemoaned the legal challenges made against it by one of its members, the Namibia Premier League, and called for a radical solution.

"I want to focus on football and don't want to spend my time fighting in courts. What kind of organisation are we running if we are continuously fighting in the courts while we are not playing on the pitch. I'm not happy with the legal challenges against the NFA by one of its members, the NPL who are continuing to defy the directives of the organisation that they are a part of, even if they are suspended," he said.

"Can we continue to have a member like the NPL in our midst - I think not.

"If we want to start football they either have to comply with our directives or we will expel them from the NFA, and we might have to consider starting another league without the NPL," he added.

"I will call a public meeting for all the members of the NPL to decide if they want to play football under the direct supervision of the NFA or under the NPL, we will let the clubs decide," he said.

Haikali said the new executive committee of the NFA could not be held responsible for the misdemeanours of the previous regime.

"A lot of unauthorised expenditure was made under the previous executive committee headed by president Frans Mbidi with Barry Rukoro as secretary general, but we were not in charge and cannot take responsibility for that."

He added that they had also received a lot of unauthorised claims.

"Many people have made claims against the NFA through the court or the ministry of labour, but many of these claims are not backed by written contracts so we cannot pay for that.

"For instance Timo Tjongarero made a case at the ministry of labour where he claimed more than N$3 million from the NFA. This was the same gentleman who was employed by the ministry of sport and who was seconded to the NFA, so why should he claim from the NFA.

"He went on several trips to do work for the NFA during which time he got his normal salary from the ministry while the NFA paid his S&T and travel and accommodation, but now he is still claiming money from the NFA - this is just one example of what type of organisation we are leading now," he said.

Haikali said they would have to realign their local and international calendar once the coronavirus crisis is under control.

"We were due to play in several international competitions, but now with the coronavirus, many of these tournaments have been put on hold, so we will have to fall in line with the new dates when they are released.

"We will also have to realign our local leagues - the Premier League and first and second divisions, so that they all start at the same time. So we don't need a court case hanging, we need to start playing football on the pitch and not in the courts.

"They say that when two elephant bulls are fighting it's the grass that suffers, which in this case is the players. I agree with that, but it's not two bulls, it's a bull and a calf - the NPL is affiliated to the NFA and not the other way around," he said.

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