WINDHOEK – Chief administrator of the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) Freddy Mwiya yesterday rubbished a statement issued last week by the Namibia Hockey Union (NHU), in which the union cleared its allegedly racism-tainted coach Maryke Short of any wrongdoings.
The NSC recently suspended the services of hockey mentor Short, after she was accused of alleged racial wrongdoings towards 14-year-old national team player Liya Herunga and also unfairly sidelined her (Herunga) for selection to the national U/16 team, which will tour Zimbabwe later this year.
The incident caused a national uproar and subsequently prompted the NSC to summon the leadership of the NHU to an urgent meeting to look into the issue, and it was it then decided that Short be removed from coaching the touring U/16 side and that Herunga be reinstated into the team.
The NSC also then instructed the NHU leadership to thoroughly investigate Short and report back to the NSC, after which a final decision and subsequent pronouncement would be made by the NSC, not the hockey union itself as they are also party to the calamity.
Short is not an alleged first time offender, as she was also fingered by the Namibia Schools Sport Union (NSSU) for having allegedly mistreated and racially mishandled certain hockey players of colour, the NSC had also earlier indicated.
Ironically, the NHU last week issued a statement in which they announced that Short had been cleared of any racism towards Herunga and any other wrongdoings as an internal investigation could not point out how Short had racially abused Herunga.
In a seemingly disparate move, the said statement was only shared with selected media outlets and not with all media houses as logically expected.
The move however backfired as Mwiya yesterday labelled the NHU statement misleading and unfortunate, as the premature pronouncement by the union attempts to shove the matter under the carpet without doing enough homework.
“The allegations are sensitive in nature and cannot just be seen as having been resolved without a thorough investigation and now being seen as mere allegations that are being swept under the carpet to try and clear the image of the Hockey Union.
The NSC regards the press release as null and void and as distorting the matter under investigation and may be seen as predetermined to the ultimate outcome of the investigation. We consider this matter as very grave and wish to assure the nation that it is pretty much still under inquiry and that a formal report will only be issued in due course upon completion,” said Mwiya’s statement.