MTC dismay over racism in sports

Mobile Telecommunications (Ltd) (MTC) chief human capital and corporate affairs officer, Tim Ekandjo has expressed anger and disappointment at the treatment a young talented sportswoman, Liya Herunga had to endure at the hands of those who are expected to nurture and develop sports in Namibia.

 Ekandjo demanded the immediate reinstatement of Herunga in the national U16 hockey team and has advised her coach, Maryke Short and her appointing authority not to take this request lightly or feel the wrath of the Namibian people who are against institutionalised racism.

“We call for the reinstatement of Liya with immediate effect and for administrators who are not in sports for the right reasons to step aside. We know who their sponsors are, they are Namibian companies who do not condone racism and if she is not reinstated by Friday this week, we will go on a national campaign to convince all these sponsors to withdraw their sponsorship and call on the Namibia Sports Commission not to give this team national colours and represent Namibia,” Ekandjo said.

He added that sports administrators who harbour racist ideals have allowed supported and promoted boldfaced discrimination to the detriment of sports development in independent Namibia.

Ekandjo also said that racism in sports is sad and Namibian authorities have relegated themselves to toothless bystanders.

“They cannot be allowed to get away with it any longer. Although MTC does not sponsor hockey, we will not sit idle and allow racism to flourish. Few years ago MTC halted its sponsorship to Cricket Namibia after allegations of racism were levelled against management. MTC afforded Cricket Namibia an opportunity to redeem themselves by implementing a quota system that will allow talented black players to be integrated into the team over a period of time but Cricket Namibia failed to do so and MTC pulled the plug,” Ekandjo said. 

“Sports administrators who harbour racist ideals have allowed, supported and promoted boldfaced discrimination to the detriment of sports development in independent Namibia. They cannot be allowed to get away with it any longer. Racism in sports is sad and our authorities have relegated themselves to toothless bystanders. Although MTC does not sponsor hockey, we will not sit idle and allow racism to flourish,” the statement reads.