Shooting From The Hip


Victory Should Not Overshadow Nasty Off-the-Field Incidents

Carlos Kambaekwa

Yes! We have beaten Libya, but the Brave Warriors’ performance was far from convincing and we should consider ourselves somehow very lucky to escape with a narrow victory after the Arabs squandered inviting chances as the match wore on.

Nevertheless, congratulations to Ben Bamfuchile and his technical staff for collecting the much-needed three points at stake to keep Namibia’s slender hopes alive for a place in the African Cup of Nations finals in Ghana next year.

The Warriors need to collect maximum points in their last two encounters against the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia respectively if we are to entertain any thoughts of being among the top 16 nations when the continental showpiece gets underway in earnest come next January.

Be it at club or national level, Namibian players have a tendency to surrender possession easily, something which could prove suicidal against decent opposition, because we really need to learn how to play with the ball and not just run around like headless chickens when the going gets tough.

Players like Collin “Collymore” Benjamin and Robert “Baggio” Nauseb bring loads of experience to the team, and one can see these outies have been playing at a different level for some time.

However, the Warriors’ narrow victory should not be allowed to overshadow some nasty off-the-field incidents of late which led to the premature retirement of long-serving and utility defender, George Hummel, from international football.

Coaches and officials are notorious for bullying loud-mouthed footballers and covering up for their prankish behaviour because there is more than meets the eye in the Hummel saga.

The boy was deemed to be a disruptive influence in the Warriors’ camp because of his guts in requesting the FA to give to Caesar what exactly belongs to him – nothing more nothing less.

The untouchable Sydney Plaatjies publicly announced through the media that he was gatvol with the coach after he was hauled off in the away match against Libya and subsequently made himself unavailable for national team selection.

On the eve of Namibia’s return leg against the very same Libyan outfit, the Jomo Cosmos defender made a sudden U-turn claiming the reporter who wrote the article sucked the story out of his thumb and football authorities just nodded in agreement without further ado, which raises serious questions over the credibility of the reporter in question.

The Namibian Football Association should have done the honourable thing and called a press conference to clear the air concerning Plaatjies’ much publicized self-imposed exile from national team selection, and not just drafted this player into the squad while pretending nothing had happened.

The much-travelled Quinton “Magic” Jacobs is well known in domestic football circles for speaking his mind whenever he feels somebody is encroaching on his rights as a confirmed individual.

Now, the talented midfielder’s sharp tongue has landed him in hot water with football authorities who did not take kindly to comments attributed to him in an English daily publication, where he blasted the Technical staff for their dodgy team selection, and yours truly strongly believes there is substance in some of his comments.

Namibian football needs Quinton Jacobs and George Hummel if we are to make any progress in the international arena, and football authorities should stop acting as if they owned football in this country – they are just custodians of the game, period.

Shifting the Goal Post over Payment
I cannot help but laugh at the amateurish fashion in which the Namibian Football Association responded to players’ demands for their outstanding match fees after the International friendly against the visiting Zambian Eleven a fortnight ago.

For the Acting Secretary-General to claim the association currently does not have the necessary funds to make any payment until funds are released by government, stings of pure arrogance – or shall we rather say ignorance – since the brother also went further to make comparisons with other government ministries who have not received their requested budgets.

Fair enough, but the difference is those ministries don’t tell their work force to wait for their monthly salaries until government coughs up, that’s just not on brother, man – you are miles off-side to say the least because the NFA possesses decent assets and can afford to arrange for a hefty temporary bank overdraft as a stop-gap measure.

Unhappy players would not be able to perform on the field of play, and the sooner the Namibian Football Association sorts out this money issue the better if we are really serious about reviving the ailing fortunes of Namibian football.

Turn a Blind Eye on Manufactured Results
When Peter van Wyk dismantled his namesake, Anton, from the pedestal of the Namibian Premier League, many football pundits thought domestic football was entering a new era, not knowing that things would turn for the worse.

The Namibia Premier League office has gone from bad to worse with constant administrative bungling and yet the custodian of the elite league, the Board of Governors, is just sitting with arms folded while the good structures, spearheaded by the energetic and knowledgeable Mario Carreira, are going to the dogs.

As the race for promotion in various divisions and several awards intensifies, results are being manufactured and football officials are turning a blind eye to these shenanigans despite complaints from affected clubs and media reports on widespread match-fixing.

Poor Rudolph Bester must be kicking his heels in frustration and wondering what he must do next to win the elusive Golden Boot Award after he thought he had done enough to earn the Award following his sixteen-goal tally during the just-ended season.

However, Bester will be going home empty-handed after he was suddenly overtaken by Civics’ top marksman, William Chilufya, who strangely netted a massive seven goals in his team’s last match of the season.

Ironically, the goal galore came against already-relegated Friends outfit, a club which had very sound ties with Civics after the Civilians loaned a couple of their fringe players to the Rehoboth-based team in a desperate bid to stave off relegation. Ja, you scratch my back and I will scratch yours, my China … I rest my case.

Lastly, I will soon have to create a dedicated obituary page considering the rate at which sports heroes and heroines are departing.

This week Namibian sport – and particularly football and netball – have been dealt a major blow with the sudden death of Black Africa’s stalwart administrator and Brave Warriors’ fan, Suster Toeks Karamata – my condolences to the Black Africa and Karamata family, notably my good friend Tjimbongoro.

May her soul rest in piece.


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