Racism has no place in Sports: Mwiya

WINDHOEK – Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) Chief Administrator, Freddy Mwiya has implored Namibians to guard against racism and tribalism in sport, as such vices have no place in the Namibian sports environment.

Speaking during a public hearing organised by the office of the Ombudsman here on Tuesday, Mwiya said racism in sport is a reality.

“There is no secret, racism in Namibia does exist and we need to tackle it from its root,” he said.

He explained that racism involves the acts when people are treated unfairly because of their race, colour, descent, nationality, ethnicity or belief. Mwiya related his own experiences as a sportsman.

“I remember in 1991 when I was the only black team member representing Namibia in a certain sport code; when we arrived in the camp I experienced segregation as the rest of the team members used Afrikaans, a language I did not understand, to communicate,” he said.

This led to him performing badly during the tournament as he spent most of the time trying to fit in with his team mates, Mwiya stated.

He noted that racism is perpetrated by different classes of society.

“How many white football players and administrators do we have? Is the composition of our national rugby and inline hockey teams a true representation of the Namibian nation?” he asked. Without providing more information, the NSC chief said some sport codes are run by families and tribes.

Mwiya further questioned why different races were inclined towards certain sports, leading to what he termed ‘kingdom’ sports codes.

He, however, stated that there are plans to transform various sports codes and make sure that all races are represented in national teams.

Mwiya said his office is busy reviewing the current Sports Act, which he described as ‘copy and paste’ from the old regime.

The public hearings on racism are held to gather input from the public and interested parties for the amendment of related laws. – NAMPA

June 2017
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