By John Tueriajama
NAMIBIA Football Players Union (NAFPU) Secretary-General, Olsen Kahiriri, says it is extremely important for the recently elected Namibia Premier League (NPL) leadership to employ the services of a qualified and competent chief executive officer.
The outspoken Kahiriri told Confidente this week that the players’ union is requesting that the NPL, under the tutelage of lawyer Patrick Kauta and his management committee, should employ a business-minded CEO.
Kahiriri said that both Kauta and his deputy chairperson Kandas Paulino are professionals, who have a lot on their plate, and that their professional careers will see them travel extensively.
“First of all, let me congratulate the new NPL leadership for hosting the successful drafting of the new constitution, from a six-page document to a fully-fledged one,” Kahiriri said, before honing in on the issue of appointing a competent NPL CEO.
“The CEO must understand the policy framework of the NPL and will devise a strategic blueprint for the league, and he or she must have a background in Namibian football. The NPL chairperson and his deputy are busy individuals, and thus the services of a competent and qualified CEO is needed, to spearhead the mandate given to the NPL leadership.”
Kahiriri said that the CEO must have a legal understanding, business acumen, marketing skills and understand football, in order to transform the NPL into a competent and professional entity.
“I have had the opportunity to talk to Kauta, and I understand why he wants to have the league start on 13 October. I duly welcome the ambition from the new NPL leadership, in that if the league does not kick off in October, we will be forced to start it from February next year, and that in itself will not augur well,” said Kahiriri.
“I understand the rationale behind the new kickoff date and he (Kauta) has explained to me the reasons why.”
Kahiriri said that it is important for the Namibia Football Association (NFA) to establish a dispute resolution chamber, which will look into any outstanding disciplinary issues, as it will be important to have all cases resolved between the players and clubs.
“The union has not engaged any clubs on outstanding player debts nor have we talked to any other player regarding their grievances, at this stage.
“We have clubs that have halved the salaries of their players, while others have not honoured their contractual remuneration agreements with players, and given this difficult scenario, it’s important that the clubs start on a clean slate,” Kahiriri said.
“Action must be taken by the new leadership and it’s important for them to show us their capabilities, given this difficult scenario our football finds itself in.”
Kahiriri also suggested that the NPL employ the services of a public relations officer, who will liaise with the media and the premier league clubs. “It’s equally important for the individual premier leagues clubs to also have public relations officers, who will market them, and to ensure that the public is enticed and mobilised to attend the matches.
“One has to understand the dynamics of selling, or rather promoting the games, and if the NPL can get a marketing officer, as well as the clubs, then the fans can surely get value for their money, when attending their respective matches,” he said.
Kahiriri said that another important suggestion is for the NPL to engage municipalities, especially in the bigger towns, to provide transport for fans; just like they do during Independence Day celebrations or on other important national holidays.
“As a players’ union, we really want to start afresh, and build stronger ties with the NPL, and its 16 affiliate clubs. We want a relationship based on honesty and recognition, with the players’ employers, as we want a harmonious working relationship with the respective clubs,” he said.
Kahiriri also suggested that a players’ pension fund be established, which will be run by both the union and the NPL, because the players find life after football extremely difficult, and they have children and families to take care of.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015