17 Nov 2016 18:00pm
WINDHOEK, 17 NOV (NAMPA) - The recent FIFPro congress has resolved to request FIFA to allow players to make decisions that affect their lives.
Secretary-General of the Namibia Football Players Union (NFPU), Olsen Kahiriri said this Thursday when he provided feedback to the media about the international association for professional football players (FIFPro) congress which took place in San Jose, Costa Rica from 08 to 10 November 2016.
Kahiriri said a lot of issues were discussed during the congress with the main issues being players transfer, greed by officials and agents during these transfers, infringement of players rights, and the general working environment for players.
The critical issue that was raised on a global context, which Namibia is also facing, is the challenge of players being treated as slaves, being used and abused and then being thrown out in the streets with nothing to fall back on, he said.
Kahiriri noted that this is exactly what is happening in Namibia, where the Namibia Premier League 2016/17 season failed to take off due to lack of sponsorship, leading to players losing salaries as clubs cannot afford to pay them.
He said FIFPro President ,Phillipe Piat did not mince his words when he asked the international football body (FIFA) to change the status quo and allow players to make decisions that affect their living.
One of the major resolutions taken at the congress was the vote for gender equality. FIFPro will add two female members to its executive committee in 2017 when a new board is due to be elected.
On this, Kahiriri said NFPU is ahead of time as they already have two women representatives in the form of First Vice-President, Uerikondjera Kasaona and Elina Uulumbu - an additional member.
Also discussed was the issue of African interest following the death of David Mayebi who was the African representative on FIFPro.
Besides Europe, Africa has the highest representation of players who are members of FIFPro.
Kahiriri said there is need to elect someone to sit on the board and that will happen at the FIFPro Africa Division elections in Accra, Ghana next May or June.
The African Board will be elected then and Namibia will have an interest as they will put up a candidate to represent the country at board level.
In other developments, Botswana became the 60th member of FIFPro, while Gabon and Mozambique became candidate members and are hoping to get their membership in the next two years.