Dark cloud hangs over Wanderers’ moment of glory… integrity of appeal committee gravely undermined
Carlos Kambaekwa Windhoek – Wanderers rugby club are the newly crowned Namibian champions following their triumph over old foes Trustco United 30-22 at the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek on Saturday. Sadly, the triumph is overshadowed by claims that the match should never have been sanctioned amidst loud shouts of foul play. In what can be interpreted as a travesty of justice, the country’s rugby authorities went against their own rules when they allowed the final match to determine the overall winner of the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) Premier League to go ahead despite a resolution to have the contested results of the play-offs annulled. However, the White Stallions’ victory has been shrouded in controversy after losing semifinalists Unam filed an appeal with the country’s governing rugby body (NRU) - citing the Pionierspark outfit as having fielded ineligible players. Upon hearing arguments and counter-arguments from both clubs, the NRU Appeals Committee ruled in favour of the applicant, in this case Unam – thus nullifying all the results of the semi-finals. Wanderers were docked four points for using improperly registered players, a scenario that shifted their position to a 4th place finish on the final log standings – in the process vacating the runner-up spot. Nonetheless, in a shocking or rather well-meant sporting gesture, Unam out of the blue withdrew their appeal after the verdict had already been delivered. Nevertheless, the final match went ahead as initially planned but the aggrieved parties are having none of that. An insider, who politely requested his identity be withheld for fear of reprisals, challenged the wisdom to let Wanderers off the hook after the club had infringed basic laws governing the game of rugby. “It’s incumbent upon authorities to ensure that rules are respected and fully adhered to even in the absence of an appeal. As it stands, the ruling completely changed the final log table, meaning team A should play against the 3rd placed team while team B faces the 4th placed side on the log table,” charged the irate mole. “These unfolding shenanigans in domestic rugby are not new, as certain clubs have made it their soul province to beef up their playing personnel using unregistered South African rugby players in an effort to gain unfair advantage over their unsuspecting opponents,” lamented the source, adding that failure to effect the ruling would set a precedent for would-be offenders. In the meantime, New Era Sport has it on good authority that United fielded a suspended player against Wanderers in Saturday’s final despite the said player having received marching orders (red card) in the semi-final against Unam.
New Era Reporter
2018-08-06 10:18:19 8 months ago