PDM calls for genuine commitment to sports development

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani, has urged Deputy Prime Minister and International Relations Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah and the Minister of Sport, Youth, and National Service to transcend political posturing and genuinely commit to fostering sports growth.

Venaani’s plea comes amidst the national senior men’s football team, the Brave Warriors’ historic performance at the 2023 African Cup of Nations tournament where they managed to progress beyond the group stage for the first time in the country’s history.

This is despite the team having to play home games away from home due to substandard stadiums in Namibia which don’t meet international standards, and local domestic league not played for more than three years.

Venaani stressed the need for a sincere commitment from government officials to drive tangible improvements in Namibia’s sports landscape.

“This should include investing in grassroots and youth development programs to identify and nurture talent, especially in under-served communities. Investing in infrastructure expansion – including new training facilities and refurbishment of existing stadiums – will certainly improve the standard of football in the country,” said Venaani.

Earlier this week Nandi-Ndaitwah acknowledged the Brave Warriors’ consistency and pledged the government’s commitment to improving sports infrastructure, rallying the nation to support the team.

In addition, he urged the Namibia Football Association (NFA) to ensure the judicious administration of the N$15 million prize awarded to the national football team.

Venaani further called on the NFA to adopt a multi-faceted approach to sports development.

“The NFA should also support coaching education and development programs to ensure there are qualified and experienced coaches at every level of football to help improve player development. At the same time, it is essential that governance and administration practices – based on transparency, accountability and robust governance – are properly prioritised to avoid future challenges that could impede our sports development,” Venaani said.

Expressing confidence in the potential for Namibian football to thrive, the opposition leader stressed the importance of prioritizing governance and administration practices based on transparency and accountability to avoid future challenges.

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