Old Timers Demand Urgent Action – Say Football Quality Declining

At the tender age of 19, former African Stars defender Albert Tjihero took on the responsibility of skippering the first South West Africa Invitational Black XI in the historic multi- racial football match between blacks and whites in 1975.

The tough tackling defender went on to make a name for himself as he steered Stars to an unprecedented success in domestic football during the formative years of multi-racial football, while he also represented his native land with flying colours in the tough and demanding annual South African Provincial Currie Cup tournament. Now a successful commercial farmer, specializing in Brahman breeding, Tjihero (57) has come out with guns blazing and says local football authorities are doing very little to take the game to the next level. “Football organization in Namibia has reached its lowest ebb, while the overall quality and standard of play leaves a lot to be desired. The alarming decline of our football is a serious cause for concern for us as former footballers and needs to be arrested without further delay,” charged Tjihero.

He said it pains him to the core to watch the huckster football displayed by the current crop of footballers notwithstanding the resources and facilities at their disposal. “If independence had arrived earlier people like Gunter Hellinghausen and myself would not have been saddled with farming, we could have been millionaires by now through football, because I gly believe we possessed the required talent to compete at the highest level internationally,” added Tjihero to loud applause during last Friday’s well-attended and historic reunion in Windhoek. Tjihero is also the elder brother of former Brave Warriors captain Bimbo.

Namibian football guru Willem Hans, unofficially credited for the success of Black Africa over the last few decades through his modern coaching techniques at St Josephs Secondary School (Doumlbra), had those in attendance in stitches as he took them down memory lane in fluent German. But it was not all laughter and fun for he also expressed alarm over the decline in the standard of local football. “I call upon our football administrators to organize an Indaba as a matter of urgency, where all stakeholders will converge and put our heads together in an effort to find solutions to why our football has stagnated with no progress in sight.” Hans raised his displeasure over the sorry state of competitive football at secondary school level – a scenario he believes is having dire consequences for the overall growth of domestic football.

Source : New Era