Was Colour the Name of This Game?

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Shooting from the Hip By Carlos Kambaekwa Dignity of human beings requires not only the right to the pursuit of happiness but, more importantly, the freedom or environment within which it can be achieved. But recent events suggest that the previously disadvantaged are free at their own peril. The pain of social imprisonment was the last thing on the mind of a jollie-seeking man who happened to be in the wrong place at the most inappropriate time and, to compound matters, his different skin pigmentation caused grave displeasure among some brandy-bellied laanies. A prominent national rugby player appeared in court for a racially-motivated assault on a coloured chirpy who happened to disturb the mood of some fired-up customers in a local pub because his dress code did not meet with the approval of the Khaki broek and veldskoen clad Dutch Boys The player, one Gillaume Nel, and his not-so-good friend are out on bail and the case has been postponed to February next year – pending further investigation. In the meantime, the National Rugby Union wasted little time and withdrew the player from the National team that was doing duty during last weekend’s match against the South African Amateur Fifteen for the continental title. I would like to doff my kori for Dirk Conradie and company for acting swiftly by suspending the culprit from all national duty, pending the outcome of the case. Fair enough, we are presumed innocent until proven guilty by the court of law, but it should be clearly understood that the alleged offence is of a very serious nature, and must be treated as such. Remember the Geo Cronje and Quinton Davids racial wrangle ahead of the last World cup finals in Australia, which ended Cronje’s promising international. Should Nel be found guilty on the allegation, he should never be allowed to play for the national team again as this should serve as a good lesson to those who still long for the good ol’ days of Louis Pienaar and his Pals. Stop Taking People for a Ride and Confront the Real McCoy Was it just yours truly who felt being taken for a ride through the lame excuse uttered by the country’s football authorities in the aftermath of our National Under-20 football team’s lukewarm performance at the Metropolitan COSAFA Youth Cup under way in Mafeking, South Africa. It seems some of the self-proclaimed football gurus at Soccer House are still living in Cloud Cuckoo Land with no intention of moving on with the times. I was extremely cheesed off by the Acting Secretary-General’s response to the team’s poor showing during the tournament after these ageless youngsters failed to clear the first hurdle for the umpteenth time in the history of the annual tournament. Instead of trying to look at the real problems within our youth structures – some dudes still have the nerve to feed the football-loving public with loads of beef, by implying that Namibia was forced to field an Under-17 team because of unforeseen circumstances. To tell the nation that the Under-17 National team was primarily used to prepare for some irrelevant tournament sometime next year, is the biggest joke I’d ever heard. Can somebody at the beleaguered Association please come out and tell the Namibian public why Namibia would not be represented in the finals of the Continental Under-17 Competition in Togo next year. For starters, the team that went to South Africa is not an Under-17 team because many of the youngsters who were initially called for the national team were dropped in favour of over-age players. Under-20, by definition, means that all eligible participants should be the age of twenty (20). A player like Tommy Kaimbi has been a regular campaigner in top flight football in the blue and white stripes of Ramblers, which mathematically suggest the boy was hardly out of his nappies when he started chasing serious leather with wise top-pies big enough to be his father. Are we saying National duty should be playing second fiddle to a domestic tourney – football administrators knew all along the National Under-20 would be on duty for the annual COSAFA Youth Cup, which runs parallel with the lucrative FNB Cup, but chose to ignore the inevitable as it has become customary practice. Let us stop making lame excuses. Is it not perhaps time to scrutinize the competence of those in charge of the national Under-20 team because a good coach can only be judged by results and, unfortunately, the results are not favouring the current Technical Team.

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