Labour Commissioner sitting with six football disputes

By Michael Uugwanga

THE Labour Commissioner in the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation has been dealing with six cases related to football disputes.

The cases lodged with the Labour Commission are that of former    Namibia Football Players Union (NFPU) secretary-General Olsen Kahiriri vs NFPU, former secretary-general of NFA Barry Rukoro vs the NFA, Kahiriri vs NFA, NFPU vs NPL, NFPU vs NPL, and Edward Ndjadila vs NFA.

Executive Director in the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation Bro-Mathew Shinguadja in an interview with Confidente Sport said that out of the six cases, only one was resolved.

“Of these cases, three are pending, one was resolved, one was postponed due to non-appearance of the parties while the other one the applicant provided proof that he appeared against the Confederation of African Football (CAF) sanction. The pending cases are that between Kahiriri vs NFPU, Rukoro vs NFA and NFPU vs NPL,” he said.

Shinguadja could however not tell the timeframe of when all the cases would be resolved saying that lies in the hands of the concerned parties.

“The dispute between Kahiriri and the NFA was on the non-payment of salaries for players.
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However there is currently no dispute lodged between NFPU and the NFA. The finalisation of pending cases lies with the parties themselves and arbitrators at Labour Commission. This is quasi-judicial process free from outside interference,” said Shinguadja.

In 2016, former top referee, Ndjadila was slapped with an eight-year football ban by the Confederation of African Football after the high-profile official  was implicated in match fixing during a crucial CAF Club Champions League game between Angolan outfit Kabuscorp de Palanca and El Merreikh of Sudan in Luanda.

In February 2019, Rukoro was removed from office by police officers after then newly appointed Normalisation Committee officially declared that he was no longer the secretary-general of NFA, which prompted Rukoro to lodge in a dismissal complaint.

Regarding to Kahiriri’s cases against his former employer NFPU; the outspoken Kahiriri was frozen out by his former boss Sylvester Lollo Goraseb (president of NFPU) after the union was suspended by the world players union, the International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPRO) over suspicions of irregular financial practices.

For the past couple of years, Namibian football has been faced with in-fights that continue to hamper the development of the popular sport in the country.
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Most players who depend on their football income have suffered immensely as a result of the commotion.

Currently there is an ongoing fight between the Namibia Premier League (NPL) against the Namibia Football Association (NFA), following the expulsion of the NPL for allegedly bringing football into disrepute.