WITH the draw for the 2019 World Cup qualifiers now having been announced, I sincerely hope that the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) has engaged both the private and public sectors, to ensure that the national rugby side, the Welwitschias, secures enough international friendly matches, as preparation for the their key encounters.
With Namibia still to register their first-ever World Cup win, in its history of competing at the glittering spectacle, the 2019 tournament, which is slated to take place in Japan, will be the ideal opportunity for the country to finally achieve this milestone.
However, before this can happen, we will first need to qualify for Japan.
It is therefore critically important that the rugby union leadership engages the government, through the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service, as well as the private sector, to secure enough international friendly matches for the team.
Africa, as we very well know, will have at least three representatives at the 2019 World Cup, and Namibia without a doubt must be one of the three continental contenders.
During their qualification campaign, Namibia takes on Uganda, Tunisia and Morocco in June next year, while they will also take on Zimbabwe and Kenya towards the end of the year.
I appreciate the efforts made by the rugby leadership to have invited Uruguay for two test matches recently, which was great exposure for the national team players.
Having read the report by the country’s Ombudsman into racism into sport, it’s also important for the rugby leadership to instruct the national technical team, under Phil Davies, to ensure demographic representation in the team, but that they must ensure that this is based on merit.
It’s also important that we see free and fair national trials being held, and that the Unam rugby side, which has dominated the premier league over the past year, also have their players called up for the national trials.
The rugby leadership must be vocal in their fight against racism in the sport, and the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) must become involved in the fight against racism and tribalism in sport.
It’s a fight that requires all stakeholders, including journalists, to promote sport based on justice and equal rights for all.
This being the final John’s Corner column of the year, it’s important to remind some sport code administrators to be transparent and forthcoming, when it comes to information that is needed. It’s also important that sport codes looks for offices and not run their administrations from briefcases, as is the case with some. They should look at professionalising their conduct towards sport development.
Let me also take this opportunity to wish all within the sport fraternity a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015