IT is not every day that I have good things to say about the Namibia Football Association, but when good things happen at Soccer House, it is just fair that one acknowledges them.A few weeks ago, I congratulated NFA president, Frans Mbidi for his boldness in terms of joining the campaign to oust now-former CAF president Issa Hayatou. As vice president of COSAFA, Mbidi was second in command of running the campaign machinery. The top guy was of course Phillip Chiyangwa, president of COSAFA and Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA). I said then that Mbidi was a bold man to take on Hayatou who has mastered his ways around CAF and its electoral systems, bullying those who do not support him. For over two decades, some football associations carried around their frustrations about Hayatou but very few dared challenge him. As fate has it, only two men from Southern Africa threw their names in the hat but the results of those elections humiliated both of them.Southern Africa’s third attempt, through Madagascar’s Ahmad Ahmad bore fruit and he is now the man sitting at the highest chair at the CAF headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.Namibia is indeed proud of what Mbidi and the NFA have achieved in this respect. We can now look forward to reforms that will benefit the whole of Africa and not just the blue-eyed nations of North and West Africa. It is also not a secret that egos were bruised in this election campaign. Those who were on Hayatou’s side will not take kindly to his humiliating defeat. They will work behind the scenes to make life difficult for Ahmad and his new team of administrators. That is how African football has turned out to be.As part of the A-Team of CAF, Mbidi needs to work extra hard to stave off unnecessary challenges that are only meant to derail progress. Perhaps it is a blessing in disguise that Mbidi did not win a seat on the CAF executive. He needs to ensure that that same energy with which he campaigned for Ahmad and for his position on the CAF executive should translate in benefits for Namibian football. It is no secret that Namibian football is currently knocking on the door of heaven, with no top flight football having been played for a year.But be that as it may, we should salute him having ventured into uncharted territory. He now knows that he has the support of at least 24 African countries. He can spend the time from now until the next elective congress to work on those countries which have not supported him this time around.He should also spend his time being that guy who is part of the CAF inner circle but operating from the outside. He should be the ears and eyes of the Ahmad and his CAF executive by monitoring the mood of member associations and defusing any tension that may arise as a result of people who are picking unnecessary fights with Ahmad or even for justifiable reasons. Namibian football lovers will look at Mbidi more closely now. They know the potential he has to mobilise people and resources. They are hoping that he will do the same for Namibian football. It is my view that Mbidi should also focus on the two most important responsibilities entrusted to him when he became NFA president. The first is to ensure professionalism of the NFA and the second is attract the corporate sector to invest in football, whichever way that will happen. Since I am in the mood of congratulating, let me also direct my congratulations to the Tobias Hainyeko Primary School for winning the NFA Build-It Under 13 Tournament which was held last weekend in Windhoek. To say the least, the event was a blast. It was magnificently organised and the levels of excitement and enthusiasm were high, from learners, teachers, parents and of course the sponsors and the NFA.
The colourful event was professionally organised by the NFA youth programme department, under the leadership of Timo Tjongarero and Jakes Amaning.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015