We’ll Have to Pick Up the Pieces

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By Kuvee Kangueehi WINDHOEK THE year 2005 is a year that the sports fraternity would want to forget as fast as possible as it did not deliver much good for the country on the sports field. It was, however, a year that has laid the foundation for Namibian sports men and women to look forward to the future with optimism. The whopping N$40 million sponsorship from the Namibia Football Consortium (NFC) is definitely the highlight of the year and it is such a sad scenario that the conference rooms are the venues making sporting highlights and not the playing fields. The ball is now in the court of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) and it remains to be seen whether they can return the favour to the NFC, which consists of Mobile Telecommunications (MTC), Namibia Breweries and First National Bank (FNB). Otherwise football in general was the same old story of infighting, maladministration and the lack of football development in youth and women football structures. The Brave Warriors, now only taking part in the Cosafa Castle Cup since it was eliminated from international football almost three years ago, continued to struggle in 2005. The Brave Warriors failed to go past the first round and lost to penalties against Botswana at the Independence Stadium. The defeat marked the end of the Brave Warriors’ participation in any international competition Namibians were waiting to see their beloved team in. The Namibia Premier League at first appeared to have been completed smoothly until now relegated Life Fighters started a long arbitration case, which brought football to a standstill. An amicable decision was not reached but the mighty mother body found its way and the league started and Life Fighters were left licking their wounds. Towards the end of the year, the NFA executive launched what appeared to be an ambitious African Nations Cup 2010 bid. The second largest sporting code in the country, athletics is still trying to overcome the retirement of Frank Fredericks from the sport. Agnes Samaria who has taken over the torch started the year on a very good note but suffered from a series of injuries in the middle of the year and towards the end. However, she managed to convince Madam Kelly Holmes to visit Namibia and pass on her exceptional skills which landed her an Olympic gold medal to Namibian athletes. In the newspapers the Athletics Namibia President Alpha Kangueehi and Quinton Botes kept the public informed about their personal fights, which prompted Bank Windhoek to reconsider its N$2 million sponsorship to athletics. With the Commonwealth Games coming up next year in March a lot of work needs to be done if Namibia is to get any medal from the games in Australia. The qualification of the Under 19 rugby squad for the world cup in Dubai next year is the icing on the cake for the rugby sport code. The Namibian squad did Namibia proud with a fine performance in South Africa, unfortunately the same cannot be said about the senior team. The national rugby team failed to retain the CAR Cup and somehow started showing a slow decline in dominating rugby in Africa. Besides South Africa, the Namibian rugby team is a major force but lately African teams especially from northern Africa are showing that they are gradually improving. Namibia Rugby Union President Dirk Conradie successfully managed to hold onto his presidency but it was not without a fight and this time it was against some clubs. Thumbs up for boxing. The sport code has finally come of age and the development programme is finally paying off. Namibian boxers have been collecting medals around the continent and left a mark everywhere they have gone. It was no surprise that the sportsman of the year is a boxer by the name of Japhet Uutoni. Tyson Ushona and Hitman Paulus also had a fantastic year and can build their careers on this year. Top Ten Sports-makers & Noisemakers 2005 SPORTS Pages across the country had different and a variety of headlines within the year and so sports codes and sports fields. Below is a top ten list of the headline makers? 1* NBCÃÆ’Æ‘ÂÂÃÆ’ÂÀÃ…¬ÃÆ’ÂÃ’šÂ¬Ã‚ÂSoccer pitch became every pedestrian’s main speech of interest. Wednesday nights would never be the same, especially the edition that had Congo Hindjou and Danzyl Bruwer. 2*MTCÃÆ’Æ‘ÂÂÃÆ’ÂÀÃ…¬ÃÆ’ÂÃ’šÂ¬Ã‚ÂBecame the country’s top sports sponsors when they gave N$150 000 to golfer Joe Nawanga, before giving N$1,5m to the cricket board. They initiated the $N40m sponsorship to football, among others. 3*Minister John MutorwaÃÆ’Æ‘ÂÂÃÆ’ÂÀÃ…¬ÃÆ’ÂÃ’šÂ¬Ã‚ÂHis million Dollar Question: NFA, what are you doing about SA 2010? 4*Windhoek City CouncilÃÆ’Æ‘ÂÂÃÆ’ÂÀÃ…¬ÃÆ’ÂÃ’šÂ¬Ã‚ÂThe Sam Nujoma Stadium that never was. 5*Quinton Steele BotesÃÆ’Æ‘ÂÂÃÆ’ÂÀÃ…¬ÃÆ’ÂÃ’šÂ¬Ã‚ÂWasn’t Black Enough. Had personal debacles with AN President Alpha Kangueehi. Quit the Olympic Committee after lengthy vendettas with administrators. 6*Seth BooisÃÆ’Æ‘ÂÂÃÆ’ÂÀÃ…¬ÃÆ’ÂÃ’šÂ¬Ã‚ÂNever had a team to coach despite the noise which lasted for seven months prompting FIFA to intervene for a TD to be appointed. 7*Max JohnsonÃÆ’Æ‘ÂÂÃÆ’ÂÀÃ…¬ÃÆ’ÂÃ’šÂ¬Ã‚ÂFormer National Team Coach famous for “History is written but before it is written is has to be made”. Sacked after failing to make history at COSAFA. 8*Brian GurirabÃÆ’Æ‘ÂÂÃÆ’ÂÀÃ…¬ÃÆ’ÂÃ’šÂ¬Ã‚ÂThe country’s national team top goal scorer who only scored in friendlies, against Lesotho and the Germany Invitational Team. 9*Hage GeingobÃÆ’Æ‘ÂÂÃÆ’ÂÀÃ…¬ÃÆ’ÂÃ’šÂ¬Ã‚ÂFormer Prime Minister who attended all top sports events in the country. 10*Robbie TysonÃÆ’Æ‘ÂÂÃÆ’ÂÀÃ…¬ÃÆ’ÂÃ’šÂ¬Ã‚ÂThe country’s Number 1 supporter, from cricket, netball, hockey, boxing to soccer.