29 Mar 2017 18:30pm
WINDHOEK, 29 MAR (NAMPA) President Hage Geingob has clarified his position as patron of the Namibia Football Association (NFA), following reports that he was not utilising his title to help solve current issues in the sport.
Addressing football authorities, sponsors, the media and government officials at State House on Wednesday, Geingob stated that the criticism directed at him as patron were unfair as he is not involved in the day to day running of the code.
He explained that a patron is a person in a community who is chosen by an association or organisation to use the name of that person to organise activities.
So, it surprises me to hear some of you saying I am to blame for not doing enough for football in this country, said Geingob.
The president added that he only came to know about problems currently befalling the football fraternity through communication from now former Namibia Premier League (NPL) Chairperson Johnny Doeseb on 16 February 2017.
Nobody from football administration came to me until then, Geingob said.
He said Doeseb forwarded the letter he had sent to the Minister of Sports, Youth and National Service (MSYNS), Jerry Ekandjo.
Geingob said he then instructed Ekandjo to set up an independent committee to look into the issues surrounding football and suggest relevant remedial actions.
He noted that the ministry responded on 28 February, outlining what it will do including setting up an independent committee compromising of former sports administrators Amos Shiyuka and Elize Peterson to look into sports matters.
Geingob added that the problem was in administration, and Government could not do anything as the country could get suspended from the International Federation of Football Associations (Fifa).
The president revealed that he was also in touch with sponsors to find out reasons why they stopped supporting football, but his hands were tied as he could not force them to support codes while they have reservations on certain things.
He expressed happiness that the issue of lack of funds for football is temporarily solved, as he was informed that Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) and Namibia Breweries have agreed to come back and support football.
The new NPL season was scheduled to start last August, but MTC, that has been sponsoring the NPL for the past 14 years, offered N.dollars 15 million only and requested the league to find an additional sponsor for the remaining N.dollars 9 million.
The 2017 NPL will commence on 12 May and end November 2017, following the intervention of the government through the sports ministry.