’English Bitter for Losing Out to Qatar’ – Muinjo… Looking for Scapegoats

In a lengthy and gly worded letter to New Era Sports yesterday the president of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) John Muinjo vehemently denied any wrongdoing following reports in the English media suggesting that he once solicited funds from disgraced former Fifa vice-chairman and former president of the Asia Football Confederation (AFC) Mohammed Bin Hamman, in order to influence the Qatari bid to host the World Cup in 2022.

Muinjo’s name surfaced in the English media in the high profile and ever deepening scandal over how Qatar won the bid to host the World Cup in 2022. Muinjo said following his appointment as NFA president, it became apparent that the executive was going to find it extremely tough to solicit sufficient funding for the 15 lower divisions, since corporate companies at the time showed little interest in committing themselves to teams outside the elite division. Therefore the various divisions, representing the larger part of the developmental efforts of the NFA, discussed at length the issue of soliciting funding. “The naked reality of our demographics is that if you look at the Namibian map and scan it with your own eyes from Goma in eastern Zambezi to the coast of the country, there is only one football facility in the… populated town of Katima Mulilo, one in Rundu and none in the Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions.” According to Muinjo all the above-mentioned facilities are of a poor standard notwithstanding the fact that they are located in areas where over 50 percent of the Namibian population resides. He says the Exco of the NFA therefore raised the matter with national leaders, since as football leaders the NFA could not ignore the matter.

“So when Bin Hamman was the blue eyed boy of global football in 2007, the NFA executive took a decision to approach him through the president to support football in Namibia on two fronts: in assisting the NFA with money to support its 13 lower divisions and the laying of an envisaged artificial turf at Omuthiya.” Acccording to him preliminary discussions started with the political leadership of the regions over the availability of land and the modalities for the construction of suitable facilities. “In hindsight, it appeared that Bin Hamman would assist the [NFA] in both regards, but the request never came to [fruition] since we were overtaken by events in international football politics,” Muinjo explains in the letter. “In the intervening years, Bin Hamman did not have the same standing anymore, because he was banned for life from all football activities and some of us are disappointed that what happened to him at that time deprived Namibia of a much needed facility.” “The executive committee was kept informed and was aware of the discussions. It may be of interest to point out that only the members of the Fifa Executive Committee are able to vote on the countries bidding to host the World Cup, so there is no way I can sell my vote to Bin Hamman. The English are naturally bitter about losing to Qatar, a lightweight in football terms and any other terms compared to England. They are just embarrassed and are now looking for a scapegoat,” according to Muinjo.

Source : New Era