By Carlos Kambaekwa
Hardly six years after the Namibian football fraternity lost one of its most promising female football referees Clara Kanundura who died at the pinnacle of her career aged 27 in 2001, the country found herself in mourning again following the death of another promising referee Anita Jacobs.
The 28-year-old Jacobs quietly slipped away at her parents’ home in Gobabis on Monday, after a short illness, barely a week after she had been discharged from the Katutura State Hospital where she spent four weeks under medical observation.
The former Civics’ player was a pillar of strength in the formation and establishment of women’s football and will not only be solely missed by her colleagues but the entire football family domestically and internationally.
Together with evergreens Jacky Gertze and namesake Jacky Shipanga, Jacobs has been a pioneer of women football in her own right.
She missed out on re-writing the history books when she was chosen to officiate at an international match between South Africa and Mozambique before the match was called off for some unknown reasons.
Jacobs first fell ill while on national duty in Tanzania when she was attending a Confederation of African Football conference in September this year, which saw the unwavering football administrator and referee being admitted to hospital in the East African country.
Since then, Jacobs’ health deteriorated to such an extent that she required constant medical attention during the last two months, before she finally succumbed to an undisclosed illness.
Meanwhile, a tearful Barry Rukoro, the Secretary-General of the Namibian Football Association extended his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family of Jacobs.
The late Jacobs was one of Namibia’s only three female FIFA accredited referees at the time of her death.