Shooting from the Hip: When sports becomes a dog and cat life

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The recently published shocking revelations of high profile misdeeds and results manipulation in many a sporting discipline is likely to open Pandora’s Box, so to speak.

Now the first question that always springs to mind is: why? For most sporting cheats, the dynamic force and intended destination is either fame or moolah – and as we all know, the love of the latter is the root of all evil.
As it stands, the Russian Athletics Federation has been banned from all athletic-related activities until such time its house is cleaned up.

The huge array of doping scandals is not only confined to athletics; it goes beyond that, with most sporting disciplines and particularly those athletes who rely on physical strength, having taken an oath to abuse themselves through unscrupulous manoevrings, while at the same time undermining their own health to the point where they may abbreviate their existence on earth.

Moolah and the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs are the most influential elements of trying to win at August competitions, either by hook or by crook. In the same spirit, it’s becoming very disturbing to hear these most bizarre tales about top officials colluding with federations to hush up the results of positive tests.

The much-publicised exposé of late South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje’s involvement in result manipulation is another case in point, and can only be attributed to a lack of morality, punctuated by sheer greed – nothing more and nothing less.

Kenyan long-distance runners have for many years dominated road running at high profile international races until the chickens finally came home to roost. Around the world there have been several reported cases of doping and cheating, including the high-profile doping case of American cyclist, Lance Armstrong.

The brother vehemently denied any involvement in cheating and still had the temerity to drag his accusers to court for character defamation – only to shamelessly admit in later years that he has actually been a serial cheater.
Yours truly has for ages been haunted by this premonition that one day Namibians will awake to news that our own Frank Fredericks has been cheated of victory at August events, where he had to settle for second-best.

The world’s football governing body FIFA is currently embroiled in scandals, ranging from bribery to money laundering. Those in positions of trust have made themselves guilty of colliding with crooks to cover up the misdeeds of their collaborators.

Local football fans blowing hot and cold

The Brave Warriors’ historic victory in the COSAFA Cup, earlier this year has propelled many a football follower to fall for that victory hook, line and sinker.

Fair enough, take nothing away from the boys, but truth be told, we should not lose sight of the naked reality that Namibia fielded their strongest possible squad in the prestigious annual regional tourney, whereas most of their opponents made use of hastily assembled experimental squads.

Did I hear disgruntled voices calling for the removal of technical staff?
Obviously, many of us are extremely disappointed that we could not progress beyond the second round of the 2018 Russia FIFA World Cup Preliminaries, but alas, it should be taken into consideration that the current Brave Warriors squad is a work in progress and we should not expect miracles.

The team needs time to gel, while the coach and his technical staff must be accorded an appropriate timeline to build a formidable squad that can challenge the continent’s heavyweights. Remember, Rome was not built in one day!
Having been eliminated from the FIFA World Cup qualifiers should not be regarded as a catastrophe, rather as a learning curve, so to speak.

The National Elephants’ star-studded squad boasts players who ply their trade in top European leagues week in and week out, while our top striker is still trying to find his feet in the South African second-tier league (NFD).
I rest my case.

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