IT is with shame and dismay that we had to send-off our athletes to the Commonwealth Games in Australia, without an official event hosted either by the Minister or Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service.
This happened despite us having been informed that an official event was going to take place and invitations having been extended to the sport scribes, we learned with shock of its cancelation on the last minute. There was no explanation given for the cancelation, despite the athletes having been scheduled to pay a courtesy call on President Hage Geingob, which was again also cancelled.
But how do we expect our athletes to perform at the Commonwealth Games with no official motivation that is normally associated with such send-off ceremonies, even if it was a low key event, it would have done justice to this cause.
These are our very own ambassadors who we expect to represent the country at the spectacle, yet the way we treat them is awkward and without feeling. Some of the athletes left last Sunday, while the final team comprising of the cyclists will depart next week. I think it should be made custom to accord our ambassadors with proper and befitting official send-off unlike what we witnessed recently, when they were abandoned, and yet we will give them a heroes’ welcome at the Hosea Kutako International Airport if they bring gold.Please let us rally behind our athletes, as that is the only moral thing to do to encourage them in their endeavour to do well in Australia.
However I still feel that we need to have an explanation as to why no official send-off took place, and yet it had been scheduled to take place.
On the football note, we were again told by an official from the Namibia Football Association (NFA) at the launch of the Debmarine Cup that the association’s executive will look into the matter between its president and secretary general to find an amicable solution. We have for long witnessed the continued feud between the president, Frans Mbidi and secretary general Barry Rukoro, although this time around sources say the SG did not do anything wrong.
This is in view of the recent appointment of Titus Kunamwene and Tim Isaacs as acting secretary general, by Mbidi, without the blessing of the NFA executive, which renders it unconstitutional. I think the executive of the NFA has been lame and toothless hence it has failed to reprimand the president, for taking unilateral decisions that are detrimental to the image of the football governing body.I wonder what happened to the auditing done by the International Federation of football Associations (FIFA), where is the report. Sure I understand that funding to the NFA comes mostly from FIFA, and if money has been abused, let justice take its course.
Let me also agree with the Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service Agnes Tjongarero for expressing her dislike towards having expatriate coaches for the various national teams. It is important that sport codes enlist under-study coaches, who will eventually take over the reign of the various national teams. I also agree that Namibia having enjoyed her 28th independence celebration, we really cannot rely on foreign coaches going forward.
It is not just the Paralympic committee that has a foreign coach, but also the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) who also have the services of foreign coaches for both teams scheduled to compete in the Rugby Super Sport Cup, and the one expected to compete in the 2019 world cup qualifications. Here we have Ricardo Mannetti and his deputy Ronny Kanalelo, who of late have successfully had a brilliant campaign in Morocco for the African Nations Championship, after winning the 2016 Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) Cup.
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