Manna from Heaven

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Shooting From The Hip Carlos Kambaekwa With all due respect, I harbor no hard feelings towards the togetherness of a Veterans Council provided their terms of reference are spelled out clearly – believe you me, I honestly hold them in high esteem, but when their roles are being compared to that of football legends in the mould of Michel Platini, Franz Beckenbauer, Kaizer Motaung and Jomo Sono – I’m tempted to question the genuineness of the entire exercise. The above mentioned gentlemen are all involved with football either by association with their own clubs or respective associations, and this is where debate is being invited to clear certain issues. Oscar Mengo has always been involved with football through his association with his now defunct club Liverpool and it is a well-documented secret that whenever the highly knowledgeable “Silver Fox” tried to call football authorities to order – he was labeled a troublesome fellow because of his close ties with football guru Hendrik Christiaans. All of a sudden, the perceived troublemaker has become a blue-eyed boy overnight – that’s pure hypocrisy or shall we rather call it the last kick of a dying horse. “Mister President-In-Waiting”, your current role is not to put up new structures in place since you are only serving in an acting capacity, unless you are eager to overstep your mandate in an already fragile setup. Still on football matters, I must honestly admit the recently concluded NFA Prize Giving Ceremony confirmed my suspicion that those in charge of domestic football are either ignorant or have very little knowledge about the finer points of the beautiful game. Last year, we had a situation where the prize for the best coach of the much sought-after NFA Cup was given to the losing finalists, and the same exercise took root again in this year’s corresponding fixture. What message is being sent out there – does that mean one has to be second best to be considered for any accolades – football logic suggests Brian Isaacs should have been the recipient of that prize full stop, and as this was not enough – a team that finished fifth on the log standings was voted the best team of the season. Ja, my broer this can only happen in Namibian football. League champions Civics only lost once during their league campaign as they took pole position from the onset and should have little peers in this particular category. The least said about the choice of the country’s most promising export the better, Swallows’ benchwarmer Henrico Botes got the nod ahead of Bidvest Wits utility defender Richard “Ou Rich” Gariseb. The former Orlando Pirates captain played a pivotal role in his team’s quick return to top flight football in South Africa and the muscular lad from the garden town was unanimously fingered by his team mates as the most composed player during their campaign in the tough Mvela Golden League last season. An official from the Northern Stream of the Nationwide Division One League was duly rewarded for excellence, give me a break – where is the mathematical justification here, the brother was part and parcel of a league that is currently entangled in disputes over serious allegations of match fixing. Lastly, whilst I’m not in total disagreement with the choice of my old pal and fellow pen pusher Lionel ‘Boet” Mathews for scooping the Golden Pen prize in the printed media category for the umpteenth time – I strongly believe clear guidelines must be in place to avoid animosity amongst some riled journos. Surely, there must be some kind of criteria, what is it the judges are looking at; is it accuracy, immediacy, balance, or is it the amount of words one is able to piece together, or even worse, the reasonable space of time allocated to ambush marketing via those who flash the bills at Soccer House? I honestly don’t appreciate these shandis and sports administers should start getting their ducks in the row if they are serious about taking the game to the next level, because it appears that those with deep pockets run football with a remote control or is it the notion of not biting the hand that feeds you? On a more positive note, yours truly is one hell of a bloke who will never shy away from calling a spade a spade but alas, let us give credit where it is due – who ever roped in Zambian national Ben Bamfuchile to rescue the ailing fortunes of Namibian football must deserve a pat on the back. After all, you don’t take the formidable Zambian national team through the rigours of football if you are a palooka. In a short space of time – there has been a significant change in our playing style even if lady luck deserted us when it mattered, but I still have serious doubts over the inclusion of giant goalkeeper Athiel Mbaha in the Brave Warriors squad. Firstly, a goalkeeper is the last line of defense and should be able to communicate with his troops from his position since he has no business in looking behind his back, and whilst I have little qualms about his ability between the sticks – the brother’s limited ability to encode and decode witties amongst his team mates makes him extremely vulnerable. Anyway, the boys are strutting some real hardegat stuff on the playing field and must be congratulated for their performance since the arrival of Bamfuchile – the brother is like manna from heaven and the nation should rally behind the technical staff and give them the much needed support. The great revival of Namibian football appears to have trickled down to the junior teams as demonstrated by the National Olympic team during their successful campaign in the recent Four Nations Tournament in Angola and last weekend’s narrow defeat at the hands of their South African counterparts in the first leg of the Olympic preliminaries. Our boys made the South Africans look like a disorganized flock of sheep and the only difference on the day between both sets of players was the size of their respective pockets, with a sizeable number of the South Africans earning their perks in the South African Professional Soccer League with leading clubs such as Sundowns, Pirates and Chiefs among others. Now our objective should be to mould a team capable of winning the FIFA World Cup in 2010 when the global showpiece made her maiden appearance on the African continent. Many might think I’m going nuts by eyeing the coveted prize, but alas, any team that qualifies for the 32-nation month-long tournament should only have one aim and that’s to win the cup and nothing less. With the NFA elections scheduled to take place in October, I’m holding my breath and praying in the name of the Almighty that the usual underperforming carrots are not going to be dangled in our face again. Football is a multi-million business and should be treated as such – in all fairness, one cannot have a business entity with a yearly turnover of close to thirty million dollars administered by amateurs. Let’s rope in some blokes who have the acumen to take our game to the next level and all the clubs in the premier league should take the lead in this regard and make their voices heard. And while I’m supposed to be jubilant over Angola’s ostensible victory for having been awarded the host status for the 2010 edition of the African Cup of Nations – butterflies are running riot in my somewhat inflated belly – fact is; the wartorn but oil rich country does not posses the infrastructure to host an event of this magnitude. Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe were better bets but the trio was unceremoniously grounded at the first hurdle for some dubious reasons. At the time, the suspicion was that Angola’s inclusion in the shortlisted four nations was merely a smokescreen to shield the intellectually corrupt CAF officials away from any criticism by the southern region. Now, Angola has been ostensibly given a stamp of approval to host the 2010 edition of the continental showpiece – fact is; who is fooling who, the Angolans would in all probability not be ready by that time to organize an event of this magnitude hence the choice of Nigeria to be on standby. Should Angola not be ready to fulfill her obligation come 2010 as clearly anticipated, why not opt for another Southern African candidate – the best bid presentation from Namibia, Zimbabwe or Mozambique should have been considered as able replacement. I’m really tempted to question the rationale behind CAF’s decision to swing the subsequent editions of the continental showpiece in favor of the remaining shortlisted candidates. For starters, situations are bound to change from time to time and the political and economical climate in most African countries is so unpredictable that one cannot be sure whether their outdated Bid Presentations would still be viable when their turns eventually come. This particular exercise is a serious miscarriage of justice and confirms our earlier suspicion that something was amiss during the initial selection process where potential candidates were completely overlooked at the expense of oil producing countries – so it’s payback time, well I rest my case. Can somebody please say it loud as to why the National Sports Commission is so selective in the application of its own rules ? Yours truly reported a few months ago on the current status of NFA Acting President John Muinjo, who dearly aspires to run for the vacant NFA Presidency. By virtue of the Amendment to the Namibian Sports Act of 2003, members are prohibited from serving on any Sport Body or Association for ten years in aggregate, which disqualifies Muinjo from the starting blocks. And what about the Commission’s silence on Agnes Tjongarero’s insistence of wearing two hats at the same time, the Sister is an executive member of the National Sports Commission while still the President of the National Olympic Committee. Once again, I’m sticking my neck out and openly challenge the Commission to either rubbish the above argument or apply the rules by telling the implicated officials in no uncertain terms where to get off. Remember, the Sports Act of 2003 was amended and there was no mention of repeal – hence the phrase “AMENDMENT” which means the action of making minor improvements to a document or piece of legislation in the queen’s lingo. Furthermore, it appears the Commission is having two different set of rules and yours truly can no longer digest these double standards. When some unruly dudes tried to unseat the Iron Lady of local basketball Talitha Jario, through a vote of no-confidence, the Commission was quick to step in and nullify the ruling on the proviso that the issue was not amongst the agenda points at the hastily arranged Congress. But when Alpha Kangueehi, aka ‘Barry White’ was disrupted while strutting through the last notes of his favourite tune You’re the First, My Last and My Everything – nobody raised a finger. We are all aware the brother is not the most popular sport administrator around, but why did the very same Commission not intervene this time around and throw brrra B another lifeline as demonstrated in the case of Jario, at least for the time being. A vote of no-confidence means just that – nothing more and nothing less, so technically Brra B and his Love Unlimited Orkes are still pulling the strings in Athletics Namibia until such a time a voting process take place to remove the brother from the pedestal. Its jibbos to call it quits for now, so for some of those who dearly want to see the back of yours truly – I’m off for the time being, but will be back with more fire next Friday, so in the meantime, enjoy your weekend.