NFA to get N$25 million from FIFA’s relief fund

By Michael Uugwanga 

THE Namibia Football Association (NFA) is set to receive U$1.5 million (around N$25.8 million) from FIFA’s massive US$1.5 billion relief plan in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. 
An amount of US$500 000 (around N$8.6 million) -from the total US$1.5 million- has been earmarked for women’s football. 
FIFA last week announced on its website that it had agreed to avail a U$1.5 billion relief plan to help deal with the impact of Covid-19 on the global game. In May, FIFA already released funds amounting to U$150 million distributed to 211 national football governing bodies around the world, of which NFA was also a beneficiary. 
The latest funds could not have come at a better time with the sporting industry in the country facing financial constraints, following the 2020/2021 budget allocation of N$306 million to the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service, with the directorate of sport only getting N$42 million from the overall budget for the line ministry. 
In an interview with Confidente Sports Desk this week, NFA secretary-general, Franco Cosmos welcomed the relief fund with open arms despite his office still awaiting a confirmation from FIFA regarding the funds as news has not yet officially reached the association. 
“I have also just seen on the website of FIFA but we have not yet (officially) received the news.  However it is good news to us as you know it is long overdue that FIFA made a promise that it will give emergency funds to all its member associates to assist them with Covid-19.  Once the money reaches our account it is up to the executive members of the NFA to sit and decide on how the money will be spent and how they are going to assist members. When we are talking of the members, we talking of the Namibia Premier League, referees’ association, women’s football, 14 regions and three streams; these include first and second divisions.  
“We also heard that Ghana’s women’s football already received money from FIFA … It is also good news for our ladies (to have received money from FIFA) as their league (Women Super League) does not have a sponsor,” said Cosmos. 
On the issues regarding the future of the NPL, Cosmos did not want to be drawn into commenting on whether the NPL would get anything from the FIFA funding, save to say that the NPL still had sour relations with the mother body and it is currently suspended as a member of the NFA due to the league’s failure to adhere to instructions. NPL did not follow the directive given by the NFA, for the league not to press ahead in relegating Orlando Pirates, Civics and Young African; the three teams that were relegated from top flight football last season. 
“It is a matter that needs to be discussed by the executive committee and deal with it. I do not want to talk about it,” said Cosmos. 
The NPL also missed out on the golden opportunity to get funding from the NFA through FIFA’s relief fund that was released in May due to their differences.