• September 28th, 2020

Opinion - Tribalism and dirty politics will destroy football

Given our young democracy, the one thing we should have learnt never to repeat is to discriminate. Discrimination in any form or colour destroys, whether it’s in politics or otherwise.

I am saddened by the state of Namibian football, and we have made the biggest mistake by allowing tribalism, racism and regionalism into the agenda of football. During apartheid, racism was our biggest enemy and a powerful weapon that was used against blacks, promoting the idea that blacks were inferior to whites. 

We are still trying to battle this stigma after thousands of years of discrimination and still here, we are making the very same mistake of dividing Namibians along tribal lines. I strongly condemn such ill efforts and all well-meaning Namibians should join me in condemnation. 
Football is a unifier of nations the world over and that’s where joy, happiness and emotions must be celebrated without being tribal and racist. 
Unfortunately, it is no longer enough to just be a Namibian, one must now be a certain type of Namibian, which is absolutely nonsense. This philosophy (tribalism) has finally creeped into Namibian football politics and trust me, it can only get ugly and destroy the beautiful game that is already in shambles. 

Removing someone from their respective leadership position because they belong to a certain tribe is wrong and something that I will never condone. Leadership should only have one determining factor, whether you have the passion and you qualify to lead. 
Your tribal affiliation should never matter because through tribalism we are now building a very dangerous foundation, which will sadly become our legacy for many years to come.

It must not be who is right or who is wrong. It must be about how we both can compromise in the best interest of the game and for the sake of all those talented young boys and girls that are being deprived of their God-given talent. 
Fact is; we are all humans and we all make mistakes but it can be rectified by reaching a compromise position in the best interest of the game and not for individual gain.

I am calling on the leadership of football to debate issues and become blind towards racism, tribalism and ethnicity, because we will destroy what those great men and women who came before us built and it will take us many years to repair this damage. The game of football will remain but history will judge us harshly for what we did.

*Johnny Johnson Doeseb is the former chairperson of the Namibia Premier League (NPL) and ex chairperson of Eleven Arrows Football Club.

Staff Reporter
2020-05-26 09:07:02 | 4 months ago

Be the first to post a comment...