Namibia boss banned from RWC

The International Rugby Board (IRB) has confirmed that Namibian Rugby Union (NRU) president Dirk Conradie and his entire executive committee have been barred from attending the World Cup in France.

The decree follows an IRB investigation that revealed an alleged breach of the RWC’s ticket sale regulations in which members of the NRU have been accused of profiting from the sale of their country’s allocated tickets to a major promotions company.

The review, carried out by Canadian advocate Graeme Mew on behalf of Rugby World Cup Limited, shows how several cash deposits totalling E250,500 ($345,000) were made into a trust account of the law firm Conradie & Damaseb, owned by Conradie.

But the NRU president denies all charges and an appeal has been lodged, with a decision is pending.

“I can confirm that Conradie has been suspended from proceedings and has not been invited to the tournament,” said IRB spokesman Greg Thomas.

Thomas also said that “a handful of others”, taken to mean the executive committee, also had their invitations withdrawn.

Thomas said a number of tickets, not including those that had been given free to members of the Namibian team, had been revoked, a move that puts fans, who bought tickets from the NRU, in limbo.

The investigation was launched after Conradie was accused by former NRU financial director Pieter Fick of selling on tickets with a mark-up of around 35 per cent.

But Conradie claimed that Fick had a personal vendetta against him after he was asked to accept a different post at the NRU but chose instead to resign.

“He [Fick] came to provoke me at my office and I told him to get out,” Conradie told The Namibian.

“He was recording the whole conversation as I threatened that I would shoot him.

“He laid a case of assault and I also laid a case of trespassing as he came into my office without permission.”

The case throws a long shadow across Nambia’s participation at the tournament, and their magnificent display in Sunday’s tense game against Ireland.

 

365 Digital

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