|Namibia out of Sevens series|
|Written by Sport Reporter|
|Wednesday, 23 November 2011 20:45|
Namibia will not be participating at the South African leg of the International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens Series at Port Elizabeth in December.|
This was confirmed by former Namibia Rugby Union Sevens Team Manager, Etienne Coetzee, who also last month resigned as a Board member of the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU).
“I can tell you that Namibia is not going anymore. We were invited initially, but the organizers later decided to instead invite Morocco. For us, it is over for the year,” Coetzee explained that a lack of funds prevented Namibia from participating in the recent tournament held in Kenya. “Morocco participated in a tournament recently and thus they are taking our place in Port Elizabeth from 9 to 10 December,” said Coetzee.
Coetzee revealed his reasons for his resignation too: “It was just getting too much with the politics. Nobody wanted us there, including the government and the IRB. For us it was a decision to resign for the good of the game. The IRB was not paying the staff here and for us that was a huge concern. So we had to go.”
He added that the clubs also played a part in their decision to resign due to the Hage Geingob Rugby Stadium ownership saga. “We had a lot of debts and the stadium was to be auctioned off. We agreed with the government to give over the stadium. But, the clubs did not agree.” Coetzee added that members of the NRU Executive Committee agreed that they were not appreciated for their efforts to develop the game, leaving them with no option but to tender their resignations.
But, the rugby administrator expressed his desire to continue to be part of the national Sevens setup. “I would love to be associated with the Sevens team because I enjoy working with the guys. But now it is up to the meeting on Saturday to decide on all national teams. They will have to advertise the positions and I will apply,” Coetzee said.
The Namibia Sevens side will now have to regroup and prepare for the 2013 World Cup qualifiers with the African leg to be hosted by Morocco in September next year.
Christo Alexander, the NRU’s Acting Chief Executive, confirmed that the Union will be hosting a consultative meeting on Saturday in Windhoek, where an interim board will be appointed to take over the reigns of managing the code with a possible elective congress to be held in February next year.
“They will assume duty as soon as possible. Not only will they plan an overhaul of various aspects of the game including the domestic season ahead, but they will also deliberate on the Confederation of African Rugby’s decision to demote Namibia after failing to compete at the recent Nations Cup competition, in Kenya,” said Alexander.
Alexander added that the qualifying tournament in September next year will be equally vital for Namibia: “They will use the competition in Morocco to rate nations and use that for the qualification for the 2016 Olympics. So we have to prepare well and do well to ensure we have a good chance of making the Olympics.”