THE ugly truth is now officially in the open following the announcement by the FIFA Normalisation Committee (NC) yesterday that the national football body owes local creditors N$23 million.
Making the announcement at a fully-packed press conference held at NFA Soccer House, NC chairperson Bisey Uirab said the NFA has a debt of just over N$23 million which has been accumulated mostly over the past year and a half.
Flanked by members of the NC, Uirab said: “The NFA is in the red. The annual funds received from Fifa and CAF are primarily for running the NFA office to pay salaries and monthly office overheads.”
“This funding is unfortunately not sufficient for the above mentioned, but where the NFA meets certain criteria, we are able to apply for additional funding from FIFA and UEFA to cover specific projects,” said the NC chairperson.
“It is worth noting that the NFA has serious financial constraints and the NFA is currently sitting with a long list of creditors that need to be paid.”
He added: “Now that we have been made aware of all our creditors, the NC will engage with all them to ensure that stakeholders relationships are managed and resolution of payment is done amicably.”
Uirab hinted that the money owed by the NFA to local creditors could possibly be more than the said N$23 million, adding that it is not just creditors that are owed money, but also national players of the Brave Warriors and the Brave Gladiators.
The eloquent NC chairperson revealed that additional funds received from current sponsors cover only a fraction of national teams’ expenses and specific competitions like the MTC sponsorship of the MTC NFA Cup.
He said the NC needs to source additional funding from sponsors and the government, should Namibia wish to continue to participate in international competitions.
Uriab added that funding to run various programs for the NFA remains a challenge, and that they are in the process of engaging various stakeholders, including government through the line ministry, Fifa, CAF and local sponsors.
“We must however be mindful that to attract the confidence of these stakeholders, especially corporate Namibia, we must work tirelessly to restore the bad image that the game has suffered over the past years and this will not change overnight,” stressed Uirab.
He said the brand healing process starts with identifying challenges, while some notable issues identified are a lack of proper governance and human development, as well as poor financial administration.
“We remain committed to addressing these challenges,” he said.
Meanwhile, N$1,4 million is the budget earmarked for each match that the Brave Warriors will play in their ‘home’ matches in South Africa.
Uirab said the NC confirmed the participation of the Brave Warriors in the 2023 Afcon qualifiers with CAF, but added that funding is required to cover the cost associated with participation in all international competitions.
“Thereafter we will like to see our senior men’s team competing in Chan and all national teams participating in Cosafa,” he said.
Namibia is pitted in Group C of the 2023 Afcon qualifiers alongside Cameroon, Burundi and Kenya. Interim head coach Bobby Samaria will continue as the coach for the first two matches.
The Brave Warriors will host Burundi on the 4th June. It is yet to be seen if Samaria’s reign as acting coach will be extended.
Uriab said: “We are aware of the formal process which took place last year to appoint substantive coaches for all our national teams. We are accordingly reviewing this matter and will inform the nation once we have made a decision regarding the appointment of national team coaches and technical staff.”