Namibian sport has experienced its fair share of embarrassing moments this year, ranging from controversial decisions from administrators, infighting among boxing promoters and an arrest at the Olympic Games.
One such big blunder has been the Namibia Premier League’s (NPL’s) failure to secure a sponsorship when mobile communications’ operator, MTC, pulled the plug out after sponsoring the league for 14 years.
This has left numerous people jobless within the football fraternity. On top of that the Namibia Football Association (NFA) failed to send the national football Under-20 team to COSAFA U-20 tournament, with the same excuse of financial constraints putting the life of future players in limbo. Namibia senior football team, the Brave Warriors, was crowned COSAFA champions last year and this year the Under-17 team won the tournament. Namibians thought our football was heading for greater heights but now it seems to be slowly fading away.
Disruption of boxing events
The Namibia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (NPBWCB) chairperson, Ellison Hijarunguru, has been at the helm of controversy after cancelling an Iron Lady Promotions boxing bonanza that was set to take place on 29 October due to the fact that it did not met the Boards requirements such as contract fees and boxers not tested at recognised laboratories.
Kinda Boxing Promotions’ boxing bonanza that was scheduled for 18 November was postponed for failing to meet NPBWCB’s requirements similar to that of Iron Lady Promotions.
Another unfortunate incident that rocked the boxing world in the country is the suspension of the Salute Boxing Academy by the control board. According to reports the suspension came after the academy’s boxing bonanza held at the coast this year turned nasty. The suspension letter says the Board charged Kamanya, in his capacity as “holder of certificate as boxing promoter conducted himself in a violent and reprehensible manner”. But that suspension was lifted a few months later.
Another boxing saga is that of Namibia’s Olympian boxer Jonas Junias, who was the country’s flag bearer at the Rio Olympic Games in Brazil, but got arrested on a charge of rape just befopre he was to honour his bout. He was lucky to get bail in good time and managed to fight and is currently facing charges of sexually assaulting a maid at the games’ residential venue.
Doping saga in rugby
Arthur Bouwer and Cameron McNab were banned from all rugby activities for the next four years after testing positive for using banned substances. Bouwer was found guilty by World Rugby for breaking the anti-doping rules under World Rugby’s program in 2016, when he used a banned substance called Dehydrochlormethytestorene in July this year.
McNab was found guilty for using Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, metandienone while playing for the junior team at the World Rugby Under-20 Trophy in Harare, Zimbabwe between 19 April and 1 May 2016.
Racism in rugby
FNB Wanderers Rugby Club player Theo ‘Kwaaitjie’ Coetzee allegedly made racial remarks aimed at a black player, Patrick Mulamba, of South African club, Evergreens, in October in a Gold Cup match played at Wanderers ground in Windhoek.
Coetzee reportedly called Mulamba “n swart bobbejaan” – meaning black baboon in Coetzee’s native Afrikaans.
The NSC turmoil
The Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) is facing its toughest period after the resignations of its longest serving head of finance and administration Walter Haseb and Chalo Chainda, marketing officer who both vacated their positions last month.
To make matters worse the NSC are still without a permanent chief administrator since 2013 after Rusten Mogane was fired. Peter Wilson is the acting chief administrator.