By John Tuerijama
WITH the 2018/19 football season scheduled to kick off in September, the players remain crucial elements in Namibia’s football fraternity. In this regard, Confidente’s Sport Reporter, John Tuerijama (JT) caught up with the Namibia Football Players Union (NFPU) Corporate and Communication Officer, Stacey Naris (SN) who spoke on a number of issues such as outstanding payments, alcohol abuse by players and relationships with stakeholders.
JT: What are some of the challenges and successes that you have faced in terms of ensuring the wellbeing of the players?
SN: We cannot specify in terms of the names of clubs or players because of the confidentiality clauses in place but rest assured that in terms of the positives, we are on a good path in line with our strategic plan. The challenge we however still face as a Union is the fact that we don’t have a national dispute chamber and cases always have to be referred to the Labour Commission. These are people that don’t have a clue on sports law and the process is long. Further, we are financially unable to cover all the things we need to achieve, but we are innovative around the challenges.
JT: Looking at your membership, has there been an increase in members in recent years and if so, what are you attributing the interest to?
SN: Yes, there has been an increase and the attribution is simply to the work we are doing for the prosperity of all players by protecting their rights.
JT: Are there any outstanding disciplinary matters between your members and the clubs, and if so, how does the Players Union plan on resolving these disciplinary issues amicably?
SN: There are outstanding cases and the union is working day and night to find alternatives such as conciliating the matters between the club and our members, suggesting amicable solutions and making use of the Labour Commissioner’s office to resolve the disputes between clubs and our members. This is in the hope that one day the right structures such as the national dispute resolution chambers will be in place physically not only on paper. Many cases however have also been able to be resolved within a week or two through conciliation.
JT: Many critics in the football fraternity have blamed the standard of the MTC Premiership on lack of commitment and ill-dis- NFPU on player disputes, resolutions Stacey Naris www.gotvafrica.com/football Serie A now available. The new football season is here. TWICE the number of Premier League and UEFA Champions League games as last season. ALL La Liga games and now, ALL Serie A games. cipline coupled with alcohol abuse. How do you plan on educating your members on this social ill?
SN: The misuse of alcohol by the Namibian youth is a worrisome factor and more especially if it involves our members, the players. As one of the programmes outlined for next year, the Union sees it fit to have a workshop/ training where players will be educated on the importance of taking care of their bodies and financial management because once a player knows how to spend his/ her money, they would not spend it on social ills. We have to raise awareness on the image of our members and the importance of it.
JT: How does the Players Union plan on bettering its relationship with both the NPL and NFA?
SN: The relationship is better than before but not yet where it is supposed to be. The union plans to educate and bring an understanding to the NPL and the NFA of the importance of collective recognition and working together to better the football of Namibia and the prosperity of players. If FIFA and FIFpro could do it why can’t NFA, NPL and the NAFPU. We have also extended the relationship with the Namibia Sports Commission and the Sports Ministry as well as the Labour Ministry.
JT: What are some of the programs that the Union plans on implementing during the new campaign scheduled for September?
SN: We have many programs lined up. These include FIFPro World 11 votes to be completed for the male players which is due in August 2018, Training of shop stewards and leaders before the next Annual General Meeting, implementation of the NAFPU 11 voting, match fixing and game changer activities, attending the Scorpion Zinc U17 tournament, continue to train our staff in order to establish a professional set-up with the Union, career guidance, NAFPU’s annual general meeting in November/ December, TUCNA’s elective congress, FIFPro annual general meeting in Italy, Rome in November 27-30 2018 and negotiating memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NPL and NFA.
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