Namibia: Institutionalised Trafficking of Footballers Must Cease

2 October 2020
opinion

Whilst the author is excited about the movements of our footballers plying their trade beyond Namibian borders across the Orange River in neighbouring South Africa, yours truly has a bone to pick with the shoddy dealings or rather amateurish fashion in which our players are moved on.

The recent transfer of former Touch & Go and Orlando Pirates versatile fullback Riaan !Hananub from Jomo Cosmos to Chippa United is another case in point.

The enterprising Brave Warriors international is a product of Otavi based outfit Touch & Go and was on loan at Pirates before he was snapped up by Cosmos.

He followed in the footsteps of dozens of Namibian footballers who have found refuge with the stinking rich South African Professional Soccer League (PSL).

The likes of Pinehas Jacob, Dudes Mwedihanga, Sadney Uri-Khob, Larry Horaeb, Petrus Shitembi, Stigga Ketjijere, Henna Botes, Virgil Vries, Rudolf Bester, Chris Katjiukua, Deon Hotto-Kavendjii, Max Mbaeva, Ted Maova, Loydt Kazapua, Wangu Gome, Pikes Shalulile, Ananias Junior Gebhardt, Benson Shilongo, Ballack Katjiteo are some of Namibian footballers earnings their perks in Mzanzi.

Interestingly, the fundamental question that springs to mind are, according to Fifa statutes, teams that played a significant role in the development of these players are entitled to some sort of compensation from transfer fees.

In the case of Deon Hotto-Kavendjii, the Mondesa born lad cut his teeth with Swakompmund Football Club (SFC) Youth Academy.

He was introduced to topflight football by Blue Boys before landing at Katutura giants African Stars, the club that shipped him off to Golden Arrows in bulk, alongside teammates Chris Katjiukua (formerly with Eleven Arrows) and Max Mbaeva.

As it stands, Hotto-Kavendjii currently ranks amongst the highest paid footballers in the PSL with a reported monthly salary of close to half a million dollar (N$500,000) before tax following his recent shift to Soweto giants Orlando Pirates from Wits. Eish.....that's serious moolah my broer.

The much-travelled seasider with a delicious left foot also had a stint with Bloemfontein Celtic bringing the overall number of teams he played for in the PSL to four.

Can you imagine what would have happened if those who handled his initial transfer to Arrows were smart enough to insert a sell-on clause during the negotiation process that would have allowed them to retain a stake in their prized asset should the player be sold to another club?

Yours truly is told Tura Magic were very smart in the transfer negotiations of Shalulile when they sold the gangling striker to Highlands Park. The Magicians stand to benefit handsomely from Pikes' big transfer to PSL Champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

There is this nasty trend in Namibian football that when players want to turn professional, they simply just resign from their respective clubs and the next moment we hear is that they are free agents just for their potential buyers to escape paying transfer fees to their old employers... let alone those institutions that have developed the player from grassroots level. That's an absolute cock and bull story.

Football authorities should introduce hard and fast rules that will protect the clubs and those who have played a significant role in the players' development from exploitation as stipulated in Fifa statutes.

In addition, clubs should also be obliged to reveal the figures involved, why is it a secret in Namibia when players are sold to foreign clubs whereas it is an international standard practice to name the prize. I rest my case!

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