25 Jun 2015 17:40pm
WINDHOEK, 25 JUN (NAMPA) Namibia Football Association (NFA) President Frans Mbidi has vowed that the association will work closely with Nafpu and FIFPro.
He said this in the capital on Wednesday during the two-day conference of the International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPro) Division Africa, hosted by the Namibia Football Players Union (Nafpu).
The conference was officially opened on Wednesday and ends on Thursday.
Mbidi said he was aware of efforts being engineered by Namibia's former national team players to start an association that will look at re-skilling and employability programmes for players who are retired from professional football.
As an association, we are prepared to work with Nafpu, former Brave Warriors players, employers' associations and Government to establish tailor-made transitional programmes for our retiring players to have them absorbed into the private and public sector.
These programmes are up and running in other countries and there is no reason why we cannot replicate them here, he said.
Mbidi added that the football fraternity is heavily reliant and indebted to the players for the joy and happiness they bring, and sometimes also sadness when they don't perform too well on the pitch.
It is however and unfortunately so disheartening to see that the people who make us happy every day and about whom we read a lot in newspapers, struggle to make ends meet.
They spend their precious time providing entertainment to thousands of people and also create business opportunities for others but they benefit very little from their own sweat, he said.
Mbidi said the time has come that people look at players differently and start respecting them.
Football players are human beings and they too dream of providing decent lives for their families, have proper houses and drive good cars. They deserve dignity and most of all need to be respected.
As a football president, I do understand our local challenges regarding inappropriate funding for football development programmes and salaries for our players. We can unfortunately not continue to sing the same song while sitting idle and hoping for this problem to solve itself, he concluded.