The IRB has been forced to seize control of the Namibia Rugby Union following allegations of corruption and mismanagement.
Namibia, one of the Springboks’ Pool D opponents at the coming World Cup in New Zealand, are in crisis. Last year, Namibian media reported accusations made by players against the NRU for failing to pay them in full after the IRB Nations Cup in Romania. Chief executive, Sakkie Mouton, was later suspended after organisational irregularities were exposed.
The IRB’s head of development and performance Mark Egan has begun an investigation, and it’s believed that the union’s debt exceeds US$500 000. He said that the IRB can provide some financial aid, but that the the Namibian government may also need to lend a hand.
‘It’s critical that the NRU is well-organised,’ said Egan. ‘We are asking a small union with limited resources to compete against the best teams in the world.
‘The NRU does have some financial problems and there will be careful monitoring of their financial resources. The IRB has additional funding and we will help, but our funds are limited and we hope that the Namibian government and private sector will also assist their national team in this important year.’
South African rugby administrator Steph Nel has been placed in temporary charge of the union.
Meanwhile, the IRB are working to solve the financial problems of the Fijian Rugby Union. Fiji are also in the same World Cup pool as Namibia and South Africa.