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New Era Newspaper Thursday February 22, 2018

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NEW ERA | Thursday, February 22 2018 Kenyan athlete Kiplagat dies in road accident Page 22 Swimmers ready to compete in national championships Page 23 SPORT Rukoro accuses Mbidi of rumour-mongering … as NFA internal squabbles continue Otniel Hembapu Windhoek The Namibia Football Association (NFA) secretary general Barry Rukoro, who is accused of having manhandled Cosafa president Phillip Chiyangwa in South Africa on Friday, says NFA president Frans Mbidi’s deeply infra dig habits of rumour-mongering and backstabbing triggered the altercation. It was reported that Rukoro allegedly had a scuffle with Chiyangwa, who is also the head of the Zimbabwe Football Association, on the sidelines of the recent Cosafa annual general meeting in Johannesburg, where the two football administrators had a heated exchange of words. Contacted for comment yesterday, Rukoro who was speaking from Nigeria where he is any physical confrontation with Chiyangwa but said only a “heated exchange of words between two strong characters” took place in the hotel lobby. According to Rukoro, Mbidi has for the past few months been on a personal mission aimed at getting rid of him as NFA secretary general – and to make sure his mission is fully accomplished, Mbidi has apparently been lobbying for the non-renewal of Rukoro’s employment contract, which runs full circle end of March. Said to have already won over the support of some NFA executive members, who partly agree that Rukoro’s tenure as head of the NFA secretariat should not be prolonged, Rukoro claims Mbidi has now further extended his lobbying efforts to Cosafa levels – a move Rukoro claims is completely out of order as it is purely an internal NFA labour issue that has zero to do with Cosafa. “Mbidi has been gossiping and spreading lies about me and the entire NFA Exco at continental and subcontinental events. He (Mbidi) took a purely national matter to a subcontinental platform. The question is what does Cosafa have to do with what is purely an NFA labour issue? Apart from the fact that Mbidi went about gossiping and spreading lies about NFA internal affairs, Cosafa president Chiyangwa even went ahead to discuss this matter at a Cosafa Executive Committee meeting. That was completely out of order. Mbidi is going around telling people that he will not organise an NFA Exco meeting for fear that his letter to me may be reversed by the NFA Executive but he chose to seek support against me on the international fora. That is not only disrespecting the NFA Executive but also undermining the NFA and Namibia’s ability to deal with our own issues,” said Rukoro. It is no secret that Mbidi and Rukoro have not been the best of associates, with Mbidi a few weeks ago publicly announcing that he will not renew Rukoro’s employment contract once it ends, consult the NFA Executive, which an NFA secretary general. Most NFA executive members have not pronounced themselves on Rukoro’s employment contract issue, but have advised Mbidi to follow due process and respect all the protocols when dealing with the issue, as opposed to bypassing the NFA’s decision-making structures to settle his personal scores. “I was told by a Cosafa Exco member that Mbidi with the support of Chiyangwa wants to deal with me and the NFA Executive and that Chiyangwa was ready to assist Mbidi in that regard. All I did was version I heard is indeed true and how he is planning to deal with me and the NFA Executive in a matter that does not in any way affect to me that Mbidi is pumping him up with a lot of stories about me and the NFA Executive, which is apparently not supporting him (Mbidi) to get rid of me. My discussion with Chiyangwa was a little heated but to establish if indeed there was our discussion took place at the centre of the hotel lobby at lunch. added Rukoro. Also contacted for comment yesterday, a somewhat reluctant Mbidi was a bit hesitant to indulge in details pertaining to the reported Rukoro and Chiyangwa scuffle, saying he only heard about it from other people and was also later informed by Chiyangwa himself, but could not comment further on the issue. Asked whether the NFA will take disciplinary action against Rukoro for bringing the name of the NFA into disrepute, that’s if the allegations are proven true, Mbidi simply said: “We cannot react to charge/complaint is received, we shall then embark upon an appropriate path to address the matter.” NFA secretary general Barry Rukoro NAFPU aids Katupose with N,000 for medical expenses Otniel Hembapu Windhoek The Namibia Football Players Union (NAFPU) continues to set the tone when it comes to the well-being and prosperity of local footballers. The union yesterday handed over a cheque of N,000 to Brave Warriors cover his medical expenses. the University of Namibia (Unam) Football Club in the country’s Premier League, suffered a serious knee injury last November, which subsequently led to his omission from the national team squad that represented Namibia at the recent 2018 CHAN tournament in Morocco. The 29-year old striker suffered the knee wound while on duty at Unam during their league clash against Gobabis-based club Young African and has since been on the sidelines nursing the niggling injury, which almost threatened his blossoming career. NAFPU’s N,000 financial aid is primarily aimed at assisting and other related costs, especially when consulting private doctors and a physiotherapist. has so far paid off the bills of one of the specialists that attended to his injury, while his club Unam assisted with the physiotherapist expenses. He however says NAFPU’s in further ensuring that he gets back at full speed in order to represent the country in upcoming games and also his club in the heated league title race. would soon be back in action as all the doctors that attended to his injury gave him the green light to dream further as his injury is apparently not He added that Brave Warriors mentor Ricardo Mannetti and Unam national teammates, all kept constant communication with him during the dark days. On his part, NAFPU secretary disappointing that national heroes are Walking the talk… NAFPU secretary general Olsen Kahiriri, Brave Warriors and Unam FC striker Muna Katupose and NAFPU president Lolo Goraseb during yesterday’s cheque handover to Katupose at the union’s Photo: Strauss Lunyangwe left to face problems related to their footballing career on their own when they hit hard times, but was however quick to remind local footballers that NAFPU is there to guide, advise and act as a shoulder to lean on when the going gets tough. entire leadership are willing and ready to work hand in glove with the Namibia Premier League (NPL) and Namibia Football Association (NFA) in order to make sure the wellbeing and future of local footballers are well taken care of, while also providing much-needed social safety nets for footballers across all spectrums. “Today we want to use Muna as an example that a player playing at the highest level can also go through such hardship, but with proper structures and good leadership in place, players won’t have to go through this. NAFPU is here to make sure the exploitation of players, and poor social care, are totally rooted out. Prosperity, health and safety are paramount to us as a union,” said the

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New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167