Rukoro says football has grown over the past five years

15 Nov 2013 14:30pm
WINDHOEK, 14 NOV (NAMPA) - Namibia Football Association (NFA) Secretary-General (SG) Barry Rukoro says people’s expectations are often unrealistic when it comes to the performance of the national football team.
“Namibia is not Ghana, Namibia is not Nigeria. While many say football is eleven vs eleven, there are a lot more dynamics than that,” Rukoro said in an interview here on Thursday, referring to the pool of players of countries with high populations such as Ghana and Nigeria.
This compared to Namibia with its population of a mere 2,2 million.
Rukoro said limited resources, such as in the form of players, is the single biggest challenge the NFA faces when asked about the often poor performance of local players against other football associations.
“If resources are there we can prepare our football players much better under the best possible conditions, like the guidance and training of the best coaches in the world,” he added.
Rukoro noted that since he took over as Secretary-General in 2008, the NFA's status changed dramatically as the association gained new sponsors in addition to established sponsors such as the Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) and Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC).
“Businesses want to invest in football as they know the resources are managed well,” he said. Companies such as Bidvest Namibia, Spar Namibia and the Skorpion Zinc Mine are some of the new sponsors.
“We are also working with international organisations such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), the German Society for Technical Cooperation (GIZ) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) which are all pouring resources into the NFA,” Rukoro stated
He added that before these organisations started supporting the NFA, they send in teams to look at the structures and see how their resources will be managed.
The SG went on to say the NFA has grown in many respects, referring to infrastructural development such as Soccer House and the artificial turf next to Soccer House.
The International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) availed N.dollars 5 million for the construction of a dressing room for the players, while another N.dollars 5 million was approved - also by FIFA - for an extension to the dressing rooms and ablution facilities
The extension will also house the offices of the technical department, while a small pavilion will also be constructed. N.dollars 5 million was also availed for the construction of a small bed and breakfast between Soccer House and the football field.
Rukoro said GIZ has approved N.dollars 6 million for the construction of a girl’s centre next to the proposed bed and breakfast.
The NFA top official also indicated that the football family grew from 6 000 registered players when he started in his position, to around 30 000 registered players now.