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NRU roots for MTCÔÇÖs N$4m

by Jeremiah Ndjoze



The dust will soon settle this week when the Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) makes public its decision on the sponsorship saga for the cash-stripped  Namibia Rugby Union (NRU).
The newly-elected executive of the NRU made a presentation to MTC last week Wednesday on how the union has revamped its administration in a bid to secure the retracted sponsorship from the country’s largest mobile phone operator.
The NRU’s executive, under the presidency of renowned Windhoek lawyer Bradley Basson, was elected into office early last month and had to start from scratch following the unexpected exit of the previous rugby executive late last year.
MTC’s Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs Officer, Tim Ekandjo confirmed to The Villager Sport that MTC asked the NRU to present their budget proposal, which was done last Wednesday.
“We have engaged them (NRU) and we’ll finalise our decision after all deliberations have reached a logical conclusion,” he said.
Ekandjo further said that despite last week’s presentation, the suspension of the N$2.5m sponsorship to the NRU is still intact until decided otherwise. However, the proposed budget, he stated, is indeed a little over N$4m and that a reply, if MTC agrees or disagrees with the proposed budget, will only be known later this week.
Asked if the outcome will be in favour of the proposed budget, Ekandjo dodged the question and instead said that all considerations were taken into account and that NRU should just wait for the decision to be made known to them..
“As for rugby, this I need not to elaborate as we know the shambles the NRU was left in by the previous leadership,” stressed Ekandjo, adding that MTC has been watching developments very closely with the new leadership and early indications are that they (NRU) mean business.   
In comparison to other sport codes equally sponsored by MTC, Ekandjo sang praises to Cricket Namibia (CN) saying that it is a true leader in good administration and that other sport codes should not feel offended if CN is singled out for honour but instead emulate their example.
NRU’s vice president, Dannie Strauss when contacted, could not say much as all he uttered was that he’s eagerly awaiting the MTC’s response regarding last Wednesday’s presentation.
However, Strauss admitted that the expansion of the budget was necessitated by some projects that the new executive plans to introduce.
Strauss said they (NRU) want to introduce regional leagues,  a women’s league and a fund for Namibia’s participation at the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) under-19 tournament.
“It is rather a comprehensive budget and it is substantially higher because of what we intend to introduce,” said the vice president.
The NRU also plans to introduce national A-team to play test matches to accommodate local players and give them the needed exposure at an international level.
The NRU’s Premier League officially kicked off last weekend and teams, because of the dilapidated financial situation of the mother union, are fending for themselves for their league commitments.
The current NRU’s executive is operating on a zero budget as there are no funds to financially assist the clubs, admits the union members.