Windhoek – Netball Namibia (NN) yesterday came out strongly to condemn and rubbish what they termed as “baseless and demoralising tribal insinuations”, aimed at the national senior netball team, which recently participated at the just-ended Netball Diamond Challenge in Polokwane, South Africa.
Namibians from various walks of life took to social media platforms during the course of the Netball Diamond Challenge to vent their frustrations and disappointments with the overall composition of the team that represented the country at the Challenge, with many members of the public saying that the team was not a true reflection of Namibia’s demographics.
Judging from their social media postings and strings of conversations on various online platforms, many members of the public were of the opinion that the team was dominated by too many Otjiherero-speaking players, and only a small fraction from other tribes could be seen.
Netball Namibia’s Vice President, Rebekka Goagoses-Nekundi, said they have taken note of the “unfortunate and disappointing” comments made by Namibians on social media, but was quick to rubbish and distance NN from what she labelled “tribal insinuations, which should not be entertained at all”.
“In fact, we were planning to issue an official press statement from Netball Namibia, because it is really disappointing and hurtful to see how some Namibians think. I mean how can someone, out of the blue, conclude that the team was not selected on merit because it has many Otjiherero-speaking players when compared to other tribes or race, those are very irresponsible remarks for any sober-minded person to make. Many of these players have been in national team structures for more than two years now, and that’s how they mostly get selected for national duty. So, are you telling me that an outstanding player should not be selected for national duty because she is an Otjiherero-speaking, or Oshiwambo-speaking, or of any other tribe? These girls went out there and gave their best for their country, and this is what they get in return? ” said a distraught Goagoses-Nekundi.
She added that national selectors are professionals who knows what they want when selecting a certain player to represent the country, but will never stoop low to select a player based on tribes. “We are guided by structures and frameworks; we just don’t go out there and knock on players’ doors when doing national call-ups, as there are procedures and structures to be followed”
Namibia finished last at the 2018 Netball Diamond Challenge after losing all their matches. Namibia lost her opening match 78-28 against South Africa before going down 61-31 in the second match against SA Presidents. Namibia went on to lose all three last matches of the tournament, losing 62-43 to Zimbabwe, 55-48 to Botswana, and 68-36 to Zambia.