Let 2019 be better!

14 January 2019 | Sports

The year 2018 was a tough one as far as sport in this country is concerned and I hope that we are not going to go through the same difficulties in 2019.

Last year the sporting fraternity was rocked by infighting, racism allegations and claims about the mismanagement of funds.

Football, rugby, cricket, boxing and hockey all experienced chaos in one way or another.

The Namibia Football Association (NFA) made headlines on so many occasions, after a cold war between its president Frans Mbidi and secretary-general Barry Rukoro reached a boiling point.

The struggle for power within the country's football governing body caused extensive damage to the image of Namibian football on a global scale.

The Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) and its business wing Namibia Rugby Limited (NRL) were also involved in a tussle for power.

This affected the players and those who desire the good administration of the game.

The hockey union was also under fire, following racism allegations caused by the omission of a player of colour from the junior national team.

Cricket Namibia (CN) also had a bad year, after many of its administrators turned against each other. What a year it was!

Having said that, I hope things in the sporting fraternity change for the better this year and that we will be able to see a return to harmony, good governance and glory days for our athletes, players and teams.

It all has to do with showing maturity when it comes to administration and avoiding egos that stand in the way taking the different sport codes forward.

People must respect each other at all levels and avoid signing deals out of desperation.

It is because of these desperate deals that some federations and unions have lost the power to control the affairs of their sport codes.

I also believe it is time that people shy away from feeding their bellies with money intended to develop sport in the country.

Some have been mismanaging money intended for development and this has really slowed down the rise of sport in the country.

In 2019 we want more passion to be shown by sport lovers, who should attend sporting events in their droves, in order to boost the performance levels of our athletes.

Namibians have a tendency of supporting things only on social media, but are never actually at events.

These things must change in 2019, because athletes also want to be seen and supported.

We are heading into our last Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Zambia in March, with a victory enough to secure us a place at the Egypt-hosted finals.

I believe that it will be a nervy and intriguing day for many of our local fans, who are so eager to see the country qualify to the African showpiece.

The journey has not been easy for Riccardo Mannetti and his men, but this time we will go into the final qualifier prepared for victory.

Yes, we have made things hard on ourselves, because we could have qualified last year if we had not been held to a draw by Guinea-Bissau at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.

Let us forget about all that and focus on the important encounter taking place in Zambia in March.

I am pleading with the Brave Warriors players and coach to keep their spirits high and play like they have never played before.

Namibian football has been tainted with infighting and many other problems.

I believe that qualifying for Afcon 2019 will be a welcome relief for the country and its troubled football fraternity.

It is up to us to make Namibia a great sporting nation again!

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