Opportunism of Sports Officials

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Carlos Kambaekwa

SHOOTING FROM THE HIP

Yours truly has noticed a very unpleasant habit amongst many sports administrators of late and I must confess, I’m not exactly appreciative of the behaviour of some of these self-styled sport gurus who tend to behave as if the discipline they serve was their own property.

Like I’ve said before, yours truly is not the kind of guy who is in the habit of calling a spade a “big spoon” or by some other juicy names –
so let’s call a spade a spade, finish and klaar.

I’m saying it, and will put it in writing – it was quite heartening to drive all the way to Hosea Kutako International Airport earlier this week to welcome our youngsters from the recently concluded International Rugby Board Under-20 World Trophy tournament in Santiago, Chile.

What struck the mind was the notable absence of rugby officials to welcome the boys from an event of such magnitude and subsequently hold a press conference to brief the media on the post-match proceedings, as is customary practice in any professional setup.

Sports bosses have developed a tendency of calling media practitioners to press conferences of very little significance, whereas a simple press kit could have done the trick – but alas, these brothers are hell bent on appearing on the Telly and seeing their faces printed in full colour on the back pages of newspapers, and would stop at nothing – wasting valuable time – with all these so-called press briefings and worse still, immaterial courtesy calls.

If the team had won, there wouldn’t have been the slightest of space for journalists to cover the players’ arrival as the officials would have jumped on the bandwagon with long and boring speeches trying to steal the limelight for themselves.

It is time for sports officials to get their ducks in the row and adopt a more professional approach towards their subjects because professionalism is about deeds and should not be confined to lip service alone.
Double Standards

There is an old saying in the Queen’s lingo that what is normally good for the goose should also be good for the gander – so yours truly fails to digest the countless double standards so dearly practised at will by the Namibian Football Association’s Disciplinary Committee.

Without beating about the bush, yours truly is referring to a recent punishment meted out against a player from Deportivo Alaves, who has been found guilty of having physically assaulted a match official.

The forever bungling Disciplinary Committee is becoming the laughing stock of the average football fan after it deemed it fit to give the culprit a slap on the wrist and here I’m referring to the laughable fine of N$2 000, or a six-months ban from all football related activities under the auspices of the NFA upon failure to settle the fine.

Now the fundamental question that needs to be addressed is: how did the Disciplinary Committee apply its mind when it meted out the punishment because when former Golden Bees’ talented midfielder and Brave Warriors prospect Harold Haimbondi (now with Tigers) was found guilty of the same offence – the poor boy was banished from all football-related activities for a whole year (12 months) without the option of a fine.

Does the Disciplinary Committee have two different sets of rules or what makes this case different from Haimbondi’s offence? I rest my case.

Stop the Witch-Hunt

It’s a well documented secret that the current hierarchy at Soccer House has gone on a wild goose chase of those who are perceived to have been on good terms with the former NFA President of the Association, Judge President Petrus Damaseb (including the author of this column).

Former Premiership outfit Chief Santos have been finding themselves on the receiving end of some very dubious decisions over the last couple of months after the northern giants were dubiously edged at the post by Mighty Gunners for promotion last year with the men in uniform escaping serious allegations of match fixing.

Currently, Santos are standing on the verge of promotion to the country’s elite league after taking pole position in the Northern Stream Division One League, but external forces are at work again in an effort to derail the Copper Town outfit’s aspirations of making their long overdue return to top-flight football.

At the centre of the storm is the apparent failure of Robber Chanties to honour their second round obligations. The Khorixas-based side cited financial constraints as chief reason for their withdrawal.

From a neutral point of view, the league statutes clearly state that regarding any team that completes its league activities in the first round – the league has the right to use its own discretion and either let the results of the first round stand or rather suspend all results involving the said team.

Not surprisingly, the league opted to apply the latter and it does not take a rocket scientist to notice why – there’s of course vested interest in the outcome of such decision and it’s here where one would have expected the country’s football authorities to step in and take a
neutral stance.

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