Multi-Racial Football Celebrated

They might be a bit long in the tooth having been touched by age, but footballers from yesteryear have lost none of the shine, which made them the envy of every football lover irrespective of religion, race or tribe for that matter in years gone by.

Almost four decades have past silently since darkies and larneys first rubbed shoulders with each other courtesy of an exhibition football match that finally paved the way for the inevitable introduction of multi-racial football in the then South West Africa (SWA) under South African apartheid rule. The same old aersaries who converged on the Suidwes Stadion on a sunny afternoon on the 5th of October in 1975 to grill each other came together this past weekend during a funfilled reunion. On Friday, almost 90 percent of the surviving members turned up at the Godwana Lodge east of the capital Windhoek to revive the good old days. The highlight of the evening was Wolgang Ekerer’s confession that he deliberately cheated the blacks out of a historic victory, when he dubiously awarded a last minute thrice taken penalty kick to the whites eleven that led to the match ending in a tie (3-3). “Honestly speaking, it would not have been fair or socially acceptable by the minority whites had the blacks won that match as it would have had the authorities with egg on the face and I felt a draw would be cool enough to leave both teams on equal terms,” revealed Ekerer (78), amidst loud laughter from the audience. The players mingled easily with each other as they went down memory lane and were all in unison that football played a major role in easing racial tensions and the subsequent demise of state sactinioned racial discrimination. The historic reunion was wrapped up with an exhibition 6-a-Side football match at the Ramblers field on Saturday afternoon.

The expired pairs of legs of Doc Naobeb, Gunther Hellinghausen, Ivo de Gouveia, Max Johnson, Steve Stephanus, Hasso Ahrens, Archie Ochurub, Bonnettie Neilenge, Ronny Dagnin, Siggy Hacker, Gawarib Urib, Bobby Ihlein, Mathew Amadhila and Puffy Rahn entertained football fans with incredible touches on the spherical object and football virtuosity never seen in our neck of the woods for ages. The darkies won the tie 3-2 through Johnson’s well-taken brace and Amadhila’s long range effort, while De Gouveia netted a brace with two world class strikes that could easily leave the current crop of strikers in the premiership green with envy. “So we are square now, their first goal was scored from an illegal angle while they fielded a youngster in their squad. Its only fair for us to claim that we were literally robbed,” joked Andy Alfheim after the match.

Source : New Era