The Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) has threatened to pull out of the 2019 Rugby World Cup scheduled for Japan if the players and ‘third forces’ hinder their campaign.
Christian Windvogel and Keith Allies of the NRU issued a statement at a press conference in which they also warned the Welwitschias players who have been protesting.
The NRU disclosed that they are aware of third forces who have been influencing the protests.
Namibia booked a spot at the 2019 World Cup after being crowned the 2018 Africa Gold Cup champions.
At the World Cup,they are drawn against New Zealand,Italy,South Africa and Repechage winners in pool B.
NRU statement in full
“The council hereby wish to express our dissatisfaction with this whole efforts to, what it seems, derailment of our World Cup campaign by third forces and, if players so wish, we will during our October extra-ordinary meeting give the NRU board the mandate to officially withdraw our participation from the 2019 World Cup,” the statement read.
“We know Ruhan Kitshoff seems to be the kingpin in this effort of getting players to protest. Protest against what? We also suspect that third forces are behind this,” it added.
“It is very worrisome that while all efforts are underway to resolve the stalemate, our players opted to support the company (NRL), and disregard their respective clubs as members of the NRU.”
“As council members, we know that the has-beens and those who already were at a World Cup would like to influence the younger and more inexperienced players for their own agendas.”
“Players who are threatening are busy bringing the game of rugby into disrepute, which they can be disciplined for, according to the constitution… Players who make threats of stop playing, are also leaving the so-called player pathway, and might not be allowed to rejoin.”
“This whole cooperation agreement is ultra virus the NRU constitution, as argued by the NRU board, and we strongly agree. We also strongly support the motion which terminated this agreement by the NRU board.”
“We wish to echo the sentiments of the minister of youth and sport, Erastus Uutoni, that rugby should continue, but not under the current conditions, and therefore support the proposal for a new arrangement with the company.”
*Additional reporting by The Namibian Newspaper