By Ronald Chawe –
THE administrative turmoil in the Namibian Football Association (NFA) is taking its toll on the game with the Under-20 team now withdrawn from taking part in the Mopani Copper Mines COSAFA tournament that kicks off tomorrow in Kitwe.
According to a local newspaper, The Namibian, the withdrawal has been attributed to the lack of funds as in-fighting by administrators reached fever peak.
This comes just two weeks after the Olympics squad was withdraws from playing a Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualifier against Angola just 2000 km away (less than two hour flight).
NFA Secretary General Barry Rukoro said there was no money to send the team to Kitwe (just 2,100 km away).
“The similar situation that befell the under-23 team has forced us to withdraw the under-20 from this year’s (COSAFA) tournament. We do not have funds to send the team over there. We had waited until the last minute with the hope that sanity will prevail, but to no avail,” he said.
Namibia had withdrawn from the 2016 tournament citing similar reasons with Rukoro saying the NFA was now awaiting sanctions from COSAFA.
When withdrawing the under-23 team, Rukoro accused NFA president, Frans Mbidi of refusing to sign off a financial request from the association to FIFA.
In turn, Mbidi accused the NFA executive committee of illegally ousting him, and demanding that he first be reinstated before he can sign the request.
He was quoted as saying “how can I sign for these things after they removed me.”
Namibia was drawn in Group b with eSwatini, South Africa and Mauritius.