Rugby Union: Call for ban from Namibia

NAMIBIA'S SPORTING contact with the rest of the world could become as restricted as South Africa's used to be. Black rugby union clubs in the country have called for a ban on all international competition involving the country unless the white-dominated union meets its far-reaching demands.

The teams have asked the Namibian Sports Council to impose the ban in support of their campaign for 40 per cent black representation in the national team, as well as the the resignation of Andries Wahl, the Namibian Rugby Union president, and a government commission of inquiry into all aspects of the running of the game.

Four black clubs recently withdrew from the 15-strong national league as the first part of their protest.

"White supremacy still maintains its stranglehold on rugby," a representative of the clubs said. "The concept of national reconciliation is completely foreign in Namibian rugby.

"Even during matches between black and white clubs, white referees discriminate openly against black teams. The whistle is used very effectively to ensure white dominance."

The NSC is expected to make a decision on a ban by the middle of this month.

"There is no need for a commission of inquiry as I know the history of rugby better than anyone in this country," Karl Persendt, the NSC chairman, said.

"I am a black man myself and a former rugby player and 22 years ago I was discriminated against. Nothing has changed.

"An international ban would be catastrophic for the sport but the current situation is not acceptable to the people of this country, nor to the government.

"If drastic change does not take place, we may have to close the doors and start anew."

Rugby union in Namibia, a country three times the size of Britain but largely made up of desert and semi-desert, is almost exclusively confined to the white Afrikaner and coloured races which make up approximately 12 per cent of the population of 1.8 million.

The NRU has only 900 registered players and is too poor to pay its representatives at the World Cup. Namibia are scheduled to meet France, Fiji and Canada in Pool C in France in October.

"We will participate at the World Cup unless we are restrained from doing so by our government. We don't disagree with the demands, just with the time frame," Wahl said.

Namibia have been preparing for the World Cup by playing in a South African provincial competition which excludes the top 120 players on Super 12 duty. After seven rounds, they have yet to win a match.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Opilio Recruitment: Product Owner

£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We are currently recruit...

Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, PHP, HTML, JavaScript, CSS

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...

Recruitment Genius: Business Support Administrator - Part Time

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the South West'...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - OTE £40,000

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An expanding business based in ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas