IT’S important for local referees to attend regular courses in bettering their refereeing skills, both locally and abroad. Namibia has had numerous referees officiating at various Confederation of African Football (CAF) competitions, including the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) world cup qualifiers. Recently, I have been impressed by the manner in which one of our very esteemed and respected referee handled the bribery scandal at the hands of Rwandan Football Association officials. While some referees would have fallen prey to the underhanded dealings tabled by the Rwandan football officials, Jackson Pavaza stuck to his ethics, rejected and exposed the bribery attempt. Pavaza and his all Namibian entourage were deployed in Rwanda to officiate at the 2019 AFCON qualifier between the hosts Rwanda and Ivory Coast, when the Namibian official Pavaza was allegedly presented with a ‘brown envelop’. Well done Pavaza for putting your professionalism and career first before anything. You proved to be a true ambassador of this great country, although such efforts of putting Namibia on the world map normally go unnoticed and unrecognised. The Pavaza incident exposed the need for the national referees’ body to continuously educate referees about such practices and discourage them from falling prey to some unscrupulous football officials. It was not the first time that Pavaza was tempted to accept a bribe while officiating in a competitive football match and on all occasions he stuck to his ethics. I urge the Namibian Football Association (NFA) to organise several refresher courses to upgrade our referees. Our referees who officiate in games locally and internationally surely must be kept abreast with the rules and laws of the continental and international football bodies. How has the national referees’ body equipped our local referees? Apart from the bribery threats it is important that we continuously educate our ‘man in black’ who truly play an important role and are an integral part of the game we all love so dearly. The welfare of referees is of vital importance in that remuneration for referees locally must be in accordance with their peers within the SADC region and by extension Africa. What compels some referees to accept bribes is nothing but the ridiculous salary/ allowance they get, which if I am not mistaken is N$500 for the referee, while the three assistant officials get N$400. Just the other day the South African referees’ body got a N$10 million sponsorship for the upkeep of referees while ours are forced to commute via taxis and get second hand treatment, are accommodated in bed and breakfast accommodation compared to their South African counterparts who get accommodated in top hotels and get remunerated well. So, the question in a nutshell is how do we empower our referees locally so that they successfully avoid temptations, such as bribes?
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015