By Festus Nakatana
FNB Namibia and the Namibia Football Association (NFA) are embroiled in a tug of war over the cancellation of an exhibition match that was supposed to take place between the Brave Warriors and a Namibia Premier League (NPL) invitational side at the official launch of the FNB Cup on Tuesday evening.
During the official FNB Cup launch on Tuesday night at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, FNB Namibia Holdings group CEO Vekuii Rukoro deviated from his prepared speech to indirectly attack the acting secretary general of the NFA Barry Rukoro over the cancelled match. Rukoro said it was sad for them to note that the national team could not play in the exhibition match.
â??The cancellation of this match is not a fault of the NPL, it is not a fault of the FNB Namibia management, but it is a fault of someone. The decision was taken by someone who thinks he had the power to decide on everything that concerns football in this country,â? said Rukoro.
Speaking to a group of journalists soon after Sports Minister John Mutorwa officially launched the Cup, the NFAâ??s Rukoro said he didn't consider the remarks by the FNB head as a personal attack on him.
â??It was not an attack at all. The team was never asked to play and how could he blame us if he never asked us. It was the NFAâ??s decision, but for this thing not to become an issue just ask Cassius Moetie from FNB whether he asked the NFA to avail the Brave Warriors for that particular match,â? said the NFA acting secretary general.
He added that having the national team for the exhibition match could also not have been a form of exposure for them. He said the stand off would be solved in an amicable manner.
â??We have platforms were we solve this things. Every Wednesdays we have meetings with the Namibia Football Consortium (NFC) and this issue will be addressed at the meeting,â? he said.
Despite the unavailability of the national team, the exhibition match went ahead after the defending champions Civics stepped in to take on the NPL invitational side.
Predictions are rife that the sudden stand-off could bear far-reaching consequences considering the fact that the NFA has a binding contract with the NFC that consists of FNB, MTC and the Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) as the official sponsor and partner of Namibian football.