Barry Rukoro stays put …. As FIFA denies reports he has been fired …. Ahrens tightlipped on NFA ‘appointment’

25 January 2019 Author   Michael Uugwanga

Contrary to recent media reports, embattled long-serving Namibia Football Association (NFA) Secretary General, Barry Rukuro, has not been asked to step aside from his position by the world football governing body, FIFA, the Windhoek Observer has established. 

The office of the FIFA president in Zurich, Switzerland told the Windhoek Observer upon enquiry on Tuesday that only the NFA’s executive committee, including its president, Frans Mbidi, had been removed from office.
 “On 8 January 2019 the Bureau of the FIFA Council removed all members of the NFA Executive Committee, including President Mbidi, from office and appointed a normalisation committee. Its members will be identified as soon as possible by a joint FIFA/Confederation of African Football (CAF) mission,” FIFA said in an emailed response.  
It said the normalisation committee’s mandate will be to run the daily affairs of the NFA, to ensure that the members of the NFA whose executive committees are out of mandate organize and conduct the relevant elections and, once elections have been held at member level, to organize and conduct elections of a new NFA Executive Committee. 
“Finally, the appointment of the NFA Secretary General will have to be dealt with by the normalisation committee once it is in place.
“Please note that the NFA is currently under restricted funding from FIFA, and will receive funds only to cover regular operational costs,” reads the letter from the office of the FIFA president sent to the Windhoek Observer this week.
Head of Competitions at the NFA, Titus Kunamuene, who was reportedly appointed by FIFA as the acting secretary general, rubbished the reports.
 “How can FIFA appoint me?” Kunamuene asked.
In an interview with the Windhoek Observer, Rukoro insisted that he is still the secretary general until he gets a dismissal letter from the NFA’s executive committee.
“Did I ever tell you that? [I was no longer general secretary).  Where is that letter from FIFA that states that I am no longer the general secretary? Maybe the letter is still coming as I have not received it yet. FIFA does not appoint, but the NFA’s executive committee does so,” Rukoro said when approached for comment. 
Meanwhile, one of Namibia’s most decorated athletes, Gaby Ahrens, has denied rumours doing the rounds on social media that she has been appointed by world football governing body, FIFA, to be a part of a three-man normalisation committee whose mandate is to restore sanity at the troubled Namibia Football Association (NFA). 
Ahrens (37) is a former Olympian athlete in the sport of Trap Shooting who competed at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.
She was the Namibian flag-bearer at the 2012 Summer Olympics, the first women from the Land of the Brave to receive this honour.
Ahrens was ranked number one on the continent for many years and won two African Championship titles in 2011 and 2015 as well as several Namibian, South African and Angolan national titles.
She was voted Namibia Sports Woman of the Year in 2010, the same year she won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India.
FIFA announced on 9 January that it had appointed a normalisation committee following the visit of its delegation to Namibia to assess the current situation of the NFA.
The normalisation committee will also act as an electoral committee and none of its members will be eligible for any of the open positions in the elections.
A list with the names of Ahrens, Sebastian Kamungu and Vivienne Katjiuongua was leaked to the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (nbc) on 16 January, but the three-time Olympian denied this week that she had been appointed to the normalization committee. 
“I have not been officially appointed, that is why I cannot say that I have accepted it. FIFA came in three weeks ago and asked me if I am willing to serve on the committee, but as I just said there is nothing happening,” Ahrens told the Windhoek Observer upon enquiry. 
Katjuonga did not want to comment regarding her possible appointment as part of the normalization committee despite efforts made by the Windhoek Observer. 
A FIFA delegation is now expected in the country on 2 February to officially appoint the normalization committee.


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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