Uutoni warns errant federations
WINDHOEK, 7 NOV – Infighting amongst sports administrators in Namibia is demoralising and discourages local sports lovers, Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Erastus Uutoni has said.
Speaking at a media conference in Windhoek on Tuesday, Uutoni said such infighting has pushed young people far away from sports.
“Also those who wish to invest in sports development will start questioning whether their investment will serve its intended purpose. Because of the infighting, we now lack the competency and have no time to identify young talent countrywide,” the minister said.
He said the Namibia Football Association (NFA) and Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) are two such organisations making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Uutoni added that as a ministry, they are concerned about the disunity, saying the sports sector is not growing at a desirable rate.
“The sports industry is big enough for all of us. The infighting is stressing players, sponsors and supporters alike. We must work hard to do away with this infighting,” he continued.
Uutoni said sports cannot be managed through hatred, anger, tribalism, nepotism or personal interest, adding that it will only progress through sober minds, unity and love.
Referring to the NFA debacle, he said the ministry through the sports commission discovered that the association’s Executive Committee did not comply with its status in dismissing its president Frans Mbidi, as there was no evidence presented to warranty a dismal.
Based on that they advised the Executive Committee to revisit its decision of firing Mbidi, revisit its constitution and hold a congress within the framework of good governance.
The minister however ruled out imposing sanctions on any of the federations currently experiencing infights saying they will offer advice and recommendations.
“Hopefully after listening to us they will consider our advice,” he said.
Uutoni further explained that he has met with the NRU and dialogue continues, while with the NFA he delegated the Namibia Sports Commission to mediate in the issue.
He said administrators must look at their constitutions and update them by updating areas which seem to be problematic.
NRU and its commercial wing Namibia Rugby Limited are involved in a tussle over who will run the game in the country, with sponsors reportedly withdrawing following a disagreement on who should appoint a developmental coach.
Meanwhile, Mbidi is reportedly involved in a nasty spat with his Secretary General Barry Rukoro, with the executive committee also joining the fight as the two continue to make moves of ousting each other.