Namibian president Hage Geingob has made a spirited defense of his decision to attending last Sunday’s World Cup final in the gulf state of Qatar, APA learnt on Tuesday.There has been widespread criticism of Geingob’s presence at the world of sport greatest showpiece, decrying the ostensibly exorbitant spending to maintain him and his entourage in Doha in the face of torrid economic times in Namibia.
However, a statement issued by his office snapped back at this criticism, saying critics “ought to understand sport diplomacy and the building of bilateral relations between nations”
The statement accused some of his detractors of peddling falsehoods out of malice and ignorance and should know that his trip was cost effective given that it was paid for by the host country.
It said while in Qatar, President Geingob had extracted from potential partners, deals to invest not only in the hospitality and oil sector and create jobs in Namibia, but a firm commitment from the Qatari government to fund the building of sport infrastructure in his country.
The Namibian leader had held talks with senior Qatari officials including the emir, his father and a minister.
Geingob flew to Qatar shortly after attending the US-Africa Leaders’ summit in Washington.
The statement said being a guest of the Qatari government, President Geingob’s upkeep was undertaken by his host who provided him security, transport and accommodation as courtesies shown invitees.