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What game is NFA playing with Phiri?

Mon, 22 September 2014 17:26
by Timoteus Shihepo
Sports

The appointment of former Zambian national team coach, Patrick Phiri to the position of Technical Advisor for the Namibian Brave Warriors currently holds mystique.
This air of secrecy around the issue has now become a breeding ground for uncertainty and speculations. And the Namibia Football Association’s NFAs choice to remain mum on critical enquiries – such as when Phiri is expected to be in Windhoek – is fueling the entire debacle.  
An enquiry by The Villager, this week, about when Phiri will be in town was met with a dry, “why do you want to know,” from the organisation’s lifetime president, John Muinjo.
This enquiry, after The Villager discovered in the last edition that former Zambia national team coach, Patrick Phiri is eyeing the Warriors’ head coach position.
Surprisingly though, as Technical Advisor, Phiri would be in a position equivalent to that of NFA Technical Director, Klaus Starke.   
His eyeing for the Namibian top job would not be a problem if the position was vacant, but in this case that position is held by Ricardo Mannetti. And Phiri who was announced only as the Technical Advisor in May this year was only supposed to help Mannetti.
As things are now , with the NFAs silence and the Phiri’s non arrival, it appears like the organisation is doing deals behind Mannetti’s back.
And this can only mean one thing . . . Phiri is waiting for Mannetti to be fired. If not how can NFA explain the fact that Phiri is still coaching Simba Football Club in Tanzania while he is supposed to be here hitting the ground running – now that the Brave Warriors is starting a new era?
Another worrying thing is why is NFA not coming clean with what Phiri job description entail since the NFA already has Starke as Technical Director.
Phiri is no doubt more experienced than Mannetti having coached at the African Nations cup, winning the Cosafa and the East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) cup. That  alone, , persuaded NFA to put Mannetti in the dark over his future.
The NFA should just come clean if they want to appoint Phiri as coach because the decision is likely to be welcomed by many people, since the Brave Warriors have not been doing well under Mannetti – apart from holding Nigeria to a 1-1 draw last year.
The team failed to maneuver through to the semifinals of the Cosafa cup last year as well as failing to reach the group stages of the 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifier.
The Brave Warriors, under Mannetti, also only managed to clinch one victory this year, a 1-0 victory against Congo Brazzaville but other than that the team failed to conquer teams like Tanzania as well as lowly ranked Swaziland who managed to come and grab a 1-1 draw right here under the noses of the faithful Warriors supporters at the Sam Nujoma stadium a fortnight ago.
Its high time NFA come clean and clear the air because in the end it’s not NFA who will suffer but the team and the fans in the process.