|THE NFA/BURKINA FASO DISPUTE IS A LIVING EMBARRASSMENT|
|Written by Nghidipo Nangolo|
|Wednesday, 30 November 2011 23:15|
From time immemorial, sports have been recognized as a physical activity that involves specific skills in which more than two people or teams take part. There are usually rules in sports as there are a winner and a loser. In antiquity, the loser would probably be slayed to display bravery and dominance, but in a modern world, the loser shakes the hand of the winner with a broad smile and acknowledges being outclassed. That is what sportsmanship should be all about.|
Lately, the embattled Namibia Football Association has been acting like a ruthless loser in antiquity. Our national team was convincingly trashed 0-3 twice by the Burkina Faso national side in Ouagadougou and on home ground recently. Instead of accepting defeat and learning from the experience, the NFA has vowed to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Switzerland after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) dismissed their legal bid last week to have Burkina Faso disqualified from the African Cup of Nations for apparently using an ineligible player.
CAF dismissed the NFA’s appeal in October, arguing that the NFA misinterpreted the rules. It relied on Article 36.12 which stipulates that a national team that permits a non-qualified or suspended player to compete in group matches, shall forfeit the match by penalty (3-0), irrespective of a complaint or reservations’
The NFA desires that the Brave Warriors take the place of Burkina Faso in case they are disqualified and automatically qualify for the finals of the continental cup. From analysing the case, it is perhaps an attempt to salvage spilled milk and more so deceitful to say the least.
The NFA takes issue with Hervé Zengue, a Cameroonian-born soccer star, who is married to a Burkinabe and is now a citizen of that country. Well, we have lots of Zengues in Namibia, and some played for our national team as well.
It is obvious that the NFA is hoping for an alibi to divert local criticism from the local Brave Warrior supporters, who have time and again berated the NFA and the pathetic performance of the national team in the last few years, wasting millions of dollars from government and the private sector.
I find it satirical that NFA’s John Muinjo and Barry Rukoro are spending some millions of dollars in legal, travel and subsistence fees spent on Namibian and German lawyers to appeal CAF’s decision with CAS instead of pumping money into improving sport and the national team.
The NFA must consider concentrating on programs targeted at elevating the standard of football than making itself the laughing stock of the football fraternity in Africa. The Burkinabe’s won fairly and squarely.
Sports is about fitness, organization, sportsmanship and entertainment, and to seek justice through the right channels when a team’s rights are genuinely contravened. The NFA did follow the procedures, but wanting to determine who is a citizen of Burkina Faso or not, is probably beyond sportsmanship. These days football is referred to as “the beautiful game” and it should be just that.