Million-dollar president

The Namibia Football Association (NFA) presidency post comes with incentives and massive perks that see the incumbent easily earning over N$1 million a year.

This is according to former NFA secretary-general Barry Rukoro, when asked why the position, which is up for grabs next month at the association’s national congress, is so sought-after in local football circles.

NFA presidents also enjoy a jet-setting lifestyle and rub shoulders with the elite of world football.

“It is difficult to have the exact amount the president makes per year because assignments and opportunities come as the year progresses.

“I can however say that the president makes over N$1 million a year,” Rukoro said.

The incentives come from Fifa and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) meetings, coupled with match commission fees.

The president also gets U$20 000 (N$288 000) from CAF for his yearly expenses.

The football boss is allegedly entitled to US$1 250 (N$18 000) per trip as an allowance.

Although presidents don’t receive a salary from the NFA, they also get N$3 000 for attending meetings and travelling.

Bribe-prone position

It has also been revealed that some association presidents allegedly benefit from bribes offered by countries bidding to host competitions. The world over, many football associations and their leaders have been embroiled in bribery allegations over the years.

It was reported that in 2008 that the general secretary of Fifa Jérôme Valcke allegedly transferred US$10 million – given to Fifa by Danny Jordaan, the president of the South African Football Association – to accounts controlled by Jack Warner, then head of CONCACAF.

“The position can be a risk to someone who is cunning because they can be easily be bribed by those bidding for competitions.

“That is why you will need someone with strong ethics who is honest from the start,” Rukoro noted.

Fifa council benefits

The NFA incumbent could possibly also fill Fifa positions, provided he has a good educational background.

“There are many opportunities in Fifa and a president of an association can get a top position if he has the qualifications.

“That is why you find these prominent and educated people vying for the NFA position,” unionist Olsen Kahiriri said.

Candidates warned

Fifa normalisation committee vice-chairperson Franco Cosmos has however warned those vying for the presidency against dubious intentions.

Cosmos said that the next NFA president must aspire to fix football and not take the position in order to advance their own personal desires. “Yes, there are many benefits when you are a president of the association, but that must not be the reason why some people are vying for the position.

“It is important that the next NFA president sets a goal to revive football and doesn’t get involved in corruption scandals that have tainted world football for so many years,” he said.

As things stand, 10 candidates have been nominated, setting the scene for a fierce presidential battle ahead of the historic congress.

Mpasi Haingura, Johnny Doeseb, Frans Mbidi, Patrick Kauta and Mabos Vries are in the running, while Naftal Ngalangi, Isak Fredericks, Kenneth Goaseb, Ranga Haikali and Cassius Moeti complete the list.

The nominees will be subjected to an integrity test, to be conducted tomorrow.

“The names of the shortlisted candidates will be revealed on 21 February,” Cosmos added.

The elective congress of the NFA, which will usher in a new executive committee to run football in Namibia for the next five years, will be held on 22 February.

Jesse Jackson Kauraisa