By John Tuerijama
HOT on the heels of securing a vice presidential position on the Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA), Namibia Football Association president, Frans Mbidi, has set his sights on landing a top position at the Confederation of African Football, the continent’s football motherbody.
Mbidi was elected to become COSAFA vice president late last year and by March 16 2017, he could be one of the top dogs of African football if things go his way.
CAF will have a congress in two months to elect new leaders, with Mbidi being among the contestants. Mbidi will compete directly against South African Football Association (SAFA) president, Danny Jordaan for the southern African seat on the CAF executive. The other seat is reserved for a female candidate.
While the nomination for the CAF position has raised eyebrows among those who feel he should first sort out the problems at home, Mbidi himself says he is just heeding the call of fellow football presidents on the continent.
“I was requested by my fellow FA presidents on the continent to make myself available for a position on CAF executive committee. I am hoping to garner enough support but I remain very optimistic about my chances of a resounding victory”.
Asked whether he will not be taking too many responsibilities after being recently elected as COSAFA vice president, Mbidi said both COSAFA and the NFA are equipped with competent general secretariats, manned by highly trained and competent staff.
“Moreover, the duties of executive committee members at FIFA, CAF, COSAFA and NFA is policy formulation and it will only be meaningful if one is able to influence policy at different levels of football,” he stressed.
“Please do also take note that the NFA is not the only association currently experiencing challenges in the whole football family. If you are able to investigate the 2011 FIFA Member Associations with the aim of establishing shortcomings in terms of funding you might be shocked to learn that Namibia is better off than many,” he said.
“And if the problems in Member Association should serve as yardstick to determine elections to any platform in football, you might end up not having anyone to serve on football bodies. Members of CAF have requested me to serve them and I have accepted the challenge with humility,” he emphasized.
If he makes it to the CAF high table, Mbidi’s responsibilities will be centred around policy formulation and implementation, as well as serve on various standing committees of the continental football body.
Since CAF published the list of candidates for the various positions on its executive committee, reports have been doing the rounds that there are football association presidents who are backing Madagscar Football Association president, Ahmad Ahmad, to compete against incumbent Issa Hayatou for the presidency. Two previous challengers from Angola, and Botswana, respectively, have walked away with tails between their legs following crushing defeats by Hayatou.
However, Mbidi has told Confidente Sport that he was not aware of camps trying to unseat Hayatou.
“I am not aware of any camps at the moment. The CAF president has done a great job for the continent and its football over the years and the NFA shall not indulge in any attempt to get rid of him unceremoniously. The NFA shall rather wait for the election manifestos of the two candidates and carefully analyse them before a decision is taken. It is important to take into consideration what a particular candidate is able to deliver to all national associations on the continent.”
Mbidi said the NFA is a member of CAF and as such is entitled to take part in all activities of the federation including, but not limited to electoral processes.
“Voting for a candidate vying for any position on the executive committee of CAF is by secret ballot and without any victimisation. The NFA/CAF relationship is by no means informed by who the President is but rather how professional the institution is. Any elected leader is duty bound to serve the members in the electorate equally and the elected president is expected to serve the entire continent. CAF has demonstrated, over the years that it is a democratic body with different directorates established with the sole purpose of rendering quality service to the members irrespective of their preference in candidates,” he emphasised.
He said the FIFA president was elected without the support of CAF but he has made it his business to appoint an African to the highest FIFA administrative position. And that when the time is right, they (NFA) leadership would make their voice count through the available democratic process.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015