Bring back tribalism/hooliganism in our soccer

By Victor Angula /

A lot of people have been asking questions, like: what is wrong with our soccer? Why can’t we seem to figure out where the problem with our football is?

Those who ventured to provide an answer have talked of the lack of commitment or corruption by officials at NFA, the squabbles for power between officials at the NPL, government’s unwillingness to do something, and FIFA’s inability to solve the problems at Namibia’s Soccer House.

In the meantime soccer has been dead for about four years, and players have suffered greatly as a result.

But I will rather point out the one thing that has killed our soccer: it’s the fact that soccer has died long time ago in us. The passion has disappeared. European soccer on TV has taken away the fire of local soccer in us.

If you study the history of Namibian soccer you can see that back in the 70’s, 80’s and early 1990’s soccer was a community thing. There was passion and competition in the hearts of the fans, the players, the officials and the communities. The competition and rivalry, which too often was tribally motivated, made soccer alive, competitive and fun.

But today, these years, soccer has become an affair of officials. Officials, by their whims and personal desires, will decide whether there will be soccer or not. NFA and FIFA have become the drivers of soccer. Communities have become mere spectators.

So that as officials squabble for power in the soccer house, the communities have no interest in soccer anymore.

Even the local media have no passion for soccer. As a reflection of society, a media house is supposed to speak out saying enough is enough of this madness at Soccer House. But in the absence of the love for the game even sports journalists have gone quiet while soccer has died.

Soccer is not only the beautiful game, it’s also hooliganism. Real soccer fans are basically hooligans. When people have passion for soccer, the competitive attitude shows in their conduct even off the field. But in Namibia when last did you hear of a football hooliganism incident?

Namibia is a violent society. So why are people never violent at soccer matches or at meetings of soccer officials? It’s because they have no passion for soccer.

Namibian soccer was created along tribal lines in Katutura. Tribal clashes took place on football pitches as Tigers (Wambo Lokasie) battled out against African Stars (Herero Lokasie), Orlando Pirates (Nama Lokasie) or Black Africa (Gemengte/Mixed tribes), etc.

Even in Europe, soccer is tribally motivated. Barcelona and Real Madrid are enemies mostly because of factors such as political and tribal differences. Talk of Italy where soccer clubs are a result of neighborhoods or cities which are historical enemies as a result of political, tribal, or even mafia differences.

This is why soccer is synonymous with hooliganism. In the Western world, the so-much developed societies, like in London or Barcelona, you may just imagine the kind of collateral damage that may follow if the premier league or la liga is suspended indefinitely for no apparent reason but just because the officials are fighting for positions.

So if you want to solve the problems at NFA Soccer House you may do well to bring back the passion, the fire, and even the tribal hooliganism associated with soccer.