Allow me space into your esteemed newspaper to critically analyze the not so pleasant incident which had tongues wagging in football fraternity concerning the Black Africa Sports Club brand, and by extension the handling of the matter by Southern Stream Football First Division (SSFD) supremo and Namibia Football Association (NFA) Vice President.
As an administrator who has been around in the game and who is familiar with the rules, regulations and statutes governing football, I cannot fold my hands, sit back, and watch attempts aimed at destroying one of the most successful soccer brands in the Namibian football landscape in general.
It is an open secret that the mighty BASC had internal power struggles that were caused by egoistic individuals who brandish themselves bigger than the brand itself and with little or no regard for football and its rules, regulations, and statutes. BASC prior to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) had a clear roadmap indicating the time frame with expectations; calling for registration of members; expectations from paid up members etc. to self-correct and to pave the way forward. This information has been circulated on all social media platforms and to all who matter. A New Executive was elected and the rest, as they say is history.
On Saturday 27 November 2023, I went to Ramblers field to watch the Kick-off of the Southern Stream First Division (SSFD) with the matches as scheduled to take place between Ramblers FC vs Namibia Correctional Services FC, and BASC vs Latinos FC.
The much anticipated officials between BASC and Latinos FC even though it did not take place had all the episodes of the drama never witnessed before in the BASC history and that of the Namibian Football in general, thanks to the disgruntled and hell bent members of BASC through word-of-mouth association and executive/s and official’s at Soccer House who are in cahoots to paint a very dangerous precedent in Namibian Football. Two distinctive BASC teams took to the field, one clad in black and red attire with no branding which reminded me of the “no name/branded” substitute can food products available on the shelves of the local retail outlets such as Pick n Pays and Shoprite’s, I guess the outfit was most probably bought from the one of China town outlets-resembles identity crisis. The other team donned the visible and traditional BASC strip that represents the rich history of the club and the lively lions known to football fraternity. It was a chaotic scene; I don’t want to see anywhere close to any sports c
lub in Namibia.
Ties that bind
After the relegation from 2022/2023 soccer season, BASC prepared itself to campaign in the Southern Stream First Division (SSFD) and was fired up and raring to go. When it learned of the under-hand tactics from the “no name/no brand” the genuine BASC wrote to SSFD Chairman, Mr Murs Markus requesting for the postponement of its scheduled league matches to iron out the issues which was brought to his attention. Ironically, he turned a blind eye despite having all the documents as submitted at his disposal. He single handedly denied the genuine request from BASC and allowed the matches to continue. As a U-turn and because of pressure exerted by the sympathizers and supporters of the club the match billed for Sunday was eventually postponed indefinitely. This clearly demonstrated indecisiveness, hypocrisy and arrogance.
Mr Murs Markus is the Chairman of the SSFD and was elected as the Vice-President of the Progressive Forces led new Executive Committee of the Namibia Football Association (NFA). Both positions he holds are very key and require decisive action and he has executive members at both levels to consult in lieu of rules, regulations, and statutes of the SSFD and NFA. He should without fear and favor interpret and apply the rules of the game and at times advise the colleagues as the most senior colleague who has been around in the game. His abilities in executing that I don’t question but the moment he becomes indecisive and take sides than he becomes a law unto himself, and this puts him in a very precarious position. After having perused the letters from BASC to Mr Markus Murs as depicted on social media and Whatsapp correspondences really does paint a gloomy picture towards his person and very important offices he holds. It just doesn’t add up. He is at the helm of one of the best administered first division leagu
es in the country in SSFD and should replicate the same when handling the matters of extreme importance. He should not directly or indirectly meddle in affairs of independent establishment which is contrary to the rules, regulations, and statutes he must uphold and defend. Truth always has a funny way of coming to the fore. To see the nature of disorder and end it, is the beginning of intelligence and equally to see that which is false as false, is the beginning of the truth. How do we already false start as leaders at the very beginning and expect to be believed? Ties shouldn’t be allowed to bind in desperate times for all the wrong reasons. When you see the truth of something, you are standing completely alone.
Progressive Forces Led NFA Leadership
I have said it before, and I will repeat it again. There is a regressive behavior in some of the Progressive Forces Leadership and this will not augur well for football in Namibia, amidst the good intentions and unity as preached by President Shimooshili. They have the tendency of putting fuel on the fire. They fail to hold each other to account when they are wrong and totally out of line with the rules, regulations and statutes governing the football. They must be able to look each other in the eye irrespective of the influence, status or their positions in the leadership and must self-correct, admit when they are wrong or erred in the best interest of football. Protecting each other with the maladministration will not take us anywhere as a footballing Nation. It shouldn’t be about we campaigned for you, I brought you in, you came in the leadership because of our slate or on our ticket. Wrong should be wrong and it can never be right. They cannot blindly follow each other and be right while they are wrong and continue interpreting the rules, regulations, and statutes the other way around.
With run up to the elections of the Namibia Football Associations (NFA) Executive Leadership, Mr Robert Shimooshili when he was interviewed on the prospects of his campaign asserted that he did not do any campaign as he believes the people who nominated him to stand would vote for him.
“It was not my request to get the nominations. The members who nominated me have been asking me to stand for some time now. I finally agreed because they have been persistent,” he said.
He further emphasized good governance, trust, accountability, and a conducive environment where the stakeholders have access to NFA, and their input is valued.
I hope and believe that President Shimooshili will not be hamstrung by his sentiments and his good intentions and good vision he has for Namibian football not be derailed because people asked him to stand for presidency and got nominations from people he did not asked/request to do so and in the process campaigned for him. It’s normal, allow agreements and disagreements to dictate course of informed and meaningful debates. Mr President, familiarize yourself with the rules, regulations and statutes governing the football, be on top of your game, take charge, take control, and call naughty bricks to order. Do not tolerate the locked-in thinking and tombstone mentality as advanced by those with hidden agenda. Mr President, you will thank me one day! What your Vice President is doing is contrary to your assertions of good governance and trust.
Purported late Registration of Players
It was widely speculated on social media about the late registration of players after the deadline of the first window period closed with reference to two distinctive Black Africa Sports Club saga. Again, this is the highest travesty of injustice and fair play to the game of football and bending of rules at whim. This is unacceptable and must be investigated and those responsible for this mishap and raping the rules must be brought to book.
Way Forward: Urgent Appeals Committee/Tribunal
As things stands regarding the Black Africa Sports Club saga, it is not well, and it is not good for the brand itself and it reflects very bad at the powers that be at SSFD and NFA. Football has started. SSFD as well as NFA rules, regulations, and statutes are very clear and there are guidelines as to what needs to happen in certain scenarios such as this. Can the NFA leadership forthwith sort out the mess within this week they have created and is party to in the best interest of football. Establish the veracity of the facts through the available mediums and once and for all put this matter to bed in the best interest of football. Be advised to always discern sense from nonsense, exercise emotional intelligence and above all be the servants of the football with the Federation of International Football (FIFA) motto of “fair play” in all regard, even if you don’t want to at least pretend to exercise “fair play”. Abuse of power is not always right and is not a good and honorable thing to do. Let football be the
winner at the end of the day.
Jefta Mcgregor Gaoab