Uutoni applauds Nam-referee for turning down a bribe


Sports minister, Erastus Uutoni said that he is pleased with the decision taken by a Namibian referee, Jackson Pavaza to report an incident of bribery to the affiliate association last month.

Earlier in September this year, Pavaza reported the bribery to the Confederation of African Football saying he was offered a brown envelop in Kigali, Rwanda ahead of his officiating of a match between the host and Ivory Coast which he turned down.

Uutoni said his ministry took note of the recent newspaper reports nationally and continentally concerning the bribery allegations raised by the Namibian referee in light of the AFCON football games.

“We as a ministry would like to commend Pavaza the son of the soil for his bravery. Saying no to the temptation of being bribed is not an easy thing to do given the current economic hardship that we as individuals face. We are reliably informed that this was a third attempt these sporting crooks tried to convince Pavaza but failed,” he said.

He added that as a nation Namibians must applaud and should be proud of the exceptional behavior that Pavaza had shown in turning down such ill activities.

“He has demonstrated to be a man of good ethics and understands that crime does not pay,” the minister said.

Uutoni also said that it is common knowledge and no secret that match-fixing and corruption in sports has a long history dating back at least 2 800 years.

“It represents an ongoing threat to the integrity, reputation and societal welfare dimension of sports. It is an illegal activity that can be transnational and is typically directly linked to criminal networks exploiting unregulated gambling markets. Current evidence indicates the pervasive nature of match-fixing across all levels and type of sports codes,” he said.