NRU lifts United suspension but more still to be resolved

NRU lifts United suspension but more still to be resolved

NAMIBIA Rugby Union boss Dirk Conradie says United Rugby Club’s suspension was lifted late last week for the good of the game in the country. United was suspended by the NRU in September this year after it allegedly instigated its players to boycott national team trials.

The bulk of the Namibian senior team players are from Wanderers and United, which are among the oldest clubs in the country. Conradie yesterday told The Namibian Sport that the suspension was lifted “because we want to turn to another page, while we also felt that it was time to reconcile”.”What more can I say, we decided to bury the hatchet and we now move on,” he said.The suspension also landed at the doors of the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC), but a solution could not be found, and Conradie declared that the issue was something of the past after they held an executive meeting towards the end of last month.The rugby union is facing serious financial difficulties, and is unable to pay outstanding fees to national team players, while the lack of a sponsor has also crippled many of its activities.The NRU in the past held awards ceremonies for the clubs and players in the various leagues, but that has been dormant for the past two years now.In a press statement on Friday, the NRU stated that the executive committee decided on December 1 to “set aside the suspension of United Rugby Club”, without elaborating on the decision.But Conradie confirmed yesterday that the suspension was lifted.The legal representative of United, Chris Roets, also confirmed that the NRU had informed them that the suspension was lifted with immediate effect.He said, however, that there are still a lot of problems that need to be addressed in the game.He said with the qualifiers for the World Cup due in March next year, it is not clear if players will make themselves available for the trials.At this stage, about 15 players from clubs other than United have either retired or are refusing to play for the national team.Roets said the outstanding payments to former national team players should first be addressed before a new beginning can be made.Namibia, who won the African Confederations Cup last year, were unceremoniously knocked out of the competition this year after sending a light-weight Namibian side to face Madagascar in Casablanca.Namibia were swept aside 49-0, largely due to the inexperience of the players who were selected to compete at that level after most of the senior players declared themselves unavailable.Meanwhile, the NRU resolved at its December 1 executive committee meeting to nominate members to five standing committees – finance and sponsorship, administration and assets, disciplinary, national teams, leagues and tournaments.It also announced that it would appoint a temporary administrator to submit a programme of action to the International Rugby Board (IRB).The decision was made after consultations with IRB representatives who visited Namibia recently.The programme of action has to be submitted by December 16.The NRU also said it would appoint a secretary and a “supervisory authority” to act as a link between the executive and the administrator.A strategic workshop that will be held under the auspices of the IRB is planned for the second and third week of January.The members also agreed on a policy for the selection of national selectors, which says that a selector may not be affiliated to any club.The executive also pledged that the money due to players of the previous national team would be paid as soon as possible.The current members serving on the NRU executive committee are Dirk Conradie (president), Bucks Bock (deputy president), Wolfie Henckert, Clifford Negongo, Karl Kruger, Pieter Fick, Ronald Reith and Etienne Coetzee.Conradie yesterday told The Namibian Sport that the suspension was lifted “because we want to turn to another page, while we also felt that it was time to reconcile”.”What more can I say, we decided to bury the hatchet and we now move on,” he said.The suspension also landed at the doors of the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC), but a solution could not be found, and Conradie declared that the issue was something of the past after they held an executive meeting towards the end of last month.The rugby union is facing serious financial difficulties, and is unable to pay outstanding fees to national team players, while the lack of a sponsor has also crippled many of its activities.The NRU in the past held awards ceremonies for the clubs and players in the various leagues, but that has been dormant for the past two years now.In a press statement on Friday, the NRU stated that the executive committee decided on December 1 to “set aside the suspension of United Rugby Club”, without elaborating on the decision.But Conradie confirmed yesterday that the suspension was lifted.The legal representative of United, Chris Roets, also confirmed that the NRU had informed them that the suspension was lifted with immediate effect.He said, however, that there are still a lot of problems that need to be addressed in the game.He said with the qualifiers for the World Cup due in March next year, it is not clear if players will make themselves available for the trials.At this stage, about 15 players from clubs other than United have either retired or are refusing to play for the national team.Roets said the outstanding payments to former national team players should first be addressed before a new beginning can be made.Namibia, who won the African Confederations Cup last year, were unceremoniously knocked out of the competition this year after sending a light-weight Namibian side to face Madagascar in Casablanca.Namibia were swept aside 49-0, largely due to the inexperience of the players who were selected to compete at that level after most of the senior players declared themselves unavailable.Meanwhile, the NRU resolved at its December 1 executive committee meeting to nominate members to five standing committees – finance and sponsorship, administration and assets, disciplinary, national teams, leagues and tournaments.It also announced that it would appoint a temporary administrator to submit a programme of action to the International Rugby Board (IRB).The decision was made after consultations with IRB representatives who visited Namibia recently.The programme of action has to be submitted by December 16.The NRU also said it would appoint a secretary and a “supervisory authority” to act as a link between the executive and the administrator.A strategic workshop that will be held under the auspices of the IRB is planned for the second and third week of January.The members also agreed on a policy for the selection of national selectors, which says that a selector may not be affiliated to any club.The executive also pledged that the money due to players of the previous national team would be paid as soon as possible.The current members serving on the NRU executive committee are Dirk Conradie (president), Bucks Bock (deputy president), Wolfie Henckert, Clifford Negongo, Karl Kruger, Pieter Fick, Ronald Reith and Etienne Coetzee.

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