Will Our Soccer Make the Grade?

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By William J. Mbangula Oshakati Namibian soccer has failed to improve despite diverse support from various sectors of the community. These remarks were made by the Governor of Oshana Region Clemens Kashupulwa when he officially opened the Coca Cola Youth Cup soccer tournament in Oshakati, which kicked off on Wednesday. “Namibia has an opportunity to participate in all SADC and world tournaments, but we have failed somehow to improve our soccer fields despite financial, material and moral support we enjoy from the Government, the private sector and individuals.” The Governor noted that the country is progressing well in boxing, rugby and other sports activities, which has resulted in Namibia being put on the world map. ” It is therefore high time that we identify our shortcomings in soccer so that we can address such challenges before we lose support from our sponsors,” he cautioned. The Governor urged both the national and regional coaches as well as the entire soccer leadership to make use of the opportunities such as the Coca-Cola Youth Cup soccer tournament to identify talented youths in the field of sport towards promoting soccer in the country. This will result in Namibia being able to compete with other competent world soccer teams. He commended Coca-Cola for investing close to N$600 000 during the past three years only to promote soccer skills among potential youths. “This is a good example worth emulating by other corporate organisations in Namibia as a way to sustain soccer in the country and beyond. I therefore appeal to other corporate organisations to emulate this good example. Such investment in the youth soccer teams is an investment in the future of this nation.” The Coca-Cola Youth Cup co-ordinator Irvine Ndjavera told New Era that the event is staged mainly for two reasons, namely, to provide an opportunity for the youths to develop their soccer skills, and to use the event as a platform where the youths of the country will come to know one another in order to appreciate and accept each other as part of one nation and one Namibia. According to Ndjavera, the prizes won during this tournament have been used profitably by various schools to renovate their buildings, buy computers and printers , and upgrade soccer fields and other essential facilities at their respective institutions.

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