Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Patrice Motsepe on Saturday again called on all interested parties to put their inflated egos aside and strive to get local football up and running, saying he and his team will ensure that nobody stands in the way of progress.
Speaking to the media after Saturday’s closed-door meeting with the leadership of both the Namibia Premier League (NPL) and the Namibia Premier Football League (NPFL), Motsepe said the meeting gave them an idea of where the problems in Namibian football are and reassured that Caf and Cosafa will jointly provide the Fifa-appointed Normalisation Committee with all necessary support to ensure that local football is played again.
“These were long talks and we now see where the problems are, but let me also say that egos and personality clashes are amongst the things we have to deal with. But as a leadership, both Caf and Cosafa, we came here to assure the Normalisation Committee that they have all our support because Namibians need to play football. We are going to deal with these issues as a collective and be rest assured that anybody standing in the way of such progress must be dealt with by the Normalisation Committee, and I made that very clear to them today (Saturday). If there is a person or a group that does not want to see football start, they should move aside,” said Motsepe.
The meeting was also attended by the Caf secretary general Veron Mosengo-Omba, Normalisation Committee members and various members of the Cosafa leadership, who all threw their support behind the committee to get the job done in the shortest period possible.
“We are all tired of normalisation committees coming and going, we need to solve these problems for the long term. It looks bad on all of us and today, we said, let’s draw the line and get solutions. But football must be played and that remains the bottom line. Unity is important and only through unity can we all move forward. Again, I am saying it is totally unacceptable that football is not being played in Namibia and in my earlier meeting with president Hage Geingob, I promised him that we will collectively resolve this issue and that’s what we intend to do exactly, but obviously by working together with our members of the Fifa Normalisation Committee.”
In a separate interview, newly elected president of the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Artur de Almeida e Silva of Angola, echoed the same sentiments by saying that it is a priority and of top importance to the organisation to see stability and progress within Namibian football.
“We deliberately chose to host the elective assembly here, it was not just a casual move. We all came here because we are concerned and we want to help Namibia resolve the problems. We also came here to assure the Normalisation Committee that they have our support, and as Motsepe said earlier, we will have to deal with anybody or group that is against football starting. Football has to be played here and that remains our priority as Cosafa and Caf,” said De Almeida.