THE Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Patrice Motsepe says nobody in Namibia is bigger than football.
Motsepe, accompanied by CAF officials and members of the Fifa Normalisation Committee for Namibia (NC), made the remark during a courtesy call on president Hage Geingob at State House in Windhoek yesterday.
“Problems that I have been exposed to in football in Namibia cause me and all of us in Africa a huge amount of sadness and disappointment,” Motsepe said.
CAF and Fifa will work together with the NC to make sure that football in Namibia follows good governance principles and returns to the stadiums where “the exceptional talent” in the country can be on full display, he added.
“People of Namibia deserve it, and the people of Namibia deserve nothing less than to promote football among girls and women.
“We will make sure that we bring different groups together who will follow a global perspective and that the rules of CAF and those of Fifa are complied with.
Motsepe touched on the issue of personalities that have negatively affected the smooth running of football in the country.
“Nobody is bigger than football in Namibia. All of us have to subjugate our personal interests to advance a united interest of all of our interests to develop and grow football,” the CAF head said.
“Give us the dignity and pride of the Namibia national team. I will come back to recognise the new leadership, a united leadership and we must send a message to all constituencies that we owe it to the people of Namibia.
“We must put the interest of our people and football above our individual disagreements and interest, the best way to advance personal interest is to put national football ahead of ours.”
Motsepe further said the issue of substandard stadiums is not just a Namibian problem but also his as CAF president.
He does not want to see Namibia’s national football teams continue to play its home matches away from home.
Motsepe is in the country for the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) general assembly, which takes place in Windhoek tomorrow.
He said they deliberately brought together all the 14 football association presidents in southern Africa for the Cosafa elective general assembly as an opportunity “to send a message to the Namibian brothers and sisters that these serious challenges can be solved and overcome”.
Geingob, who doubles as the country’s football patron, reminded the Fifa NC of their daunting task to remedy the popular sport code’s troubled administration.
He said the Namibian football problem is known and it is a shame that Namibia’s national teams have to play their home matches in other countries