Dear readers, pardon me but my commonly trusted – though ageing – fingers are trembling as I pen this piece.
It’s now a well documented fact that Namibia’s most celebrated athlete of all time, Frank Fredericks, is embroiled in an ugly spat with the media houses in France as he tries to clear his squeaky clean name after damning allegations of bribery were leveled against the blue-eyed boy of Namibian track and field athletics.
Let’s not get judgmental or get ahead of ourselves by jumping to premature conclusions before due process takes place. Frank has been and would always remain the epitome of a mild-mannered, calculated sportsman of his generation – a true son of the soil and certainly needs our full support in this dark hour of need, when he is being subjected to trial by media.
As it stands, these are mere allegations and nothing concrete has been proven against the brother for any wrongdoing, or attempts to defraud anybody. In all honesty, when I first read the article online last Friday, I had to pinch myself several times to try to convince myself that this cannot be real, until I came to terms with what was published.
As a sport scribe, I’ve always been awaiting the day when Namibia was going to be bestowed with the missing gold medal at major events. I still strongly believe Frank has been denied gold medals at several august gatherings, because his competitors were up to something not so good: doping and results manipulation.
If Frank was a cheater, as he is being portrayed in the French press, yours truly is quite certain the brother would by now have been stripped of the many medals he won at various international athletics meetings.
This is one athlete the entire sporting world has looked up to – an absolutely genuine and spotless role model with unquestionable integrity and high principles. Frank inspired many people with his humility, while keeping his fast feet firmly on the ground.
Disturbingly, some local media houses have been showing minimal patriotism, if any, in their inconsiderate reporting about these damning allegations leveled against one of our own celebrated sons of the soil.
One would have expected the local media to be more sympathetic towards the sensitive nature of the matter by conducting a more thorough analyses of the facts and not just splash the one-sided reports from the foreign press, as if we are fools to be fed with such clearly fabricated news-fodder.
We still presume that a person is innocent until proven otherwise. Period!
Time for ageing Hayatou to smell the Java
What’s this nonsense of CAF president Issa Hayatou trying by all means to cling onto power, as if his entire life depends on football?
Surely, the old toppie has overstayed his welcome at the headquarters of CAF and it’s now time for him to make way for new blood as a matter of moral obligation.
The ruthless fashion in which the ageing toppie wants to justify his clearly unquenchable desire for another term is absolutely unacceptable, childish and laughable, to say the least.
Hayatou even had the guts to caution or rather dictate to Zimbabwean football honcho Phillip Chiyangwa who he must invite to his birthday party after the flamboyant business mogul threw a posh party for the who’s who in football circles, including charismatic FIFA president Gianni Infantino and several high-profile football heavyweights.
There has been a profound shift in perceptions concerning Hayatou’s longevity at the helm of Africa’s football presiding umbrella body. COSAFA has already pronounced itself that it will support Madagascar’s FA president Ahmad, who is vying to topple Hayatou from the pedestal.
The clearly off-colour Cameroonian has been at the helm of CAF for more than 30 years and appears to harbour no intentions of stepping down, at least not for time being.
I rest my case.