Football players: Crossing the great divide not a sin

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THERE seems to be a misconception in the football world that professional players play the game for fun and they should be at the mercy of the whims of the fans and the clubs.

THE CENTRE SPREAD WITH WELLINGTON TONI

Talented players who leave big clubs seeking greener pastures are called of sorts of names and are subjected to all sorts of abuse from supporters and club officials.

This is the trend the world over, but it is more hurtful in our situation where clubs not only give players peanuts, but fail to deliver on their promises.

Two hot issues on the domestic football scene illustrate this point — that of striker Masimba Mambare and defender Gift Bello.

Mambare, having spent two years at Highlanders, won the Mbada Diamonds Cup in 2013, ran down his contract and moved to Dynamos as a free agent.

That was enough to cause mayhem in Zimbabwe’s football fraternity and the media over the move with Mambare being called all sorts of names.

He was said to have apparently “lied” that he was committed to Highlanders before crossing the great divide to their bitter rivals.

History will tell you that Mambare, traitor or no traitor, like any worker, just wants to put food on the table for his young family and cannot be really be labelled a traitor.

Mambare, after being targeted by the Bosso boo-boys early in October and November made up his mind that he wanted to leave Bulawayo, but he could not make it public.

Instead he sold the media the dummy of the century when he said he was committed to Highlanders. He knew the consequences of pre-emptying his move.

Meanwhile, Dynamos made their move and Mambare signed a deal and was even registered for the Champions League by December 15 before the matter became public.

Sources at Dynamos said the player had approached them in July — the mid-season transfer window — and that gave the Harare giants enough time to raise funds for his transfer.

Dynamos paid $15 000 for the former Motor Action man. This clearly shows he was willing to take whatever was on the table as long as he got the hell out of Bulawayo!

Then came the “rebel”.

Bello claims he has not been paid his signing on fees by Dynamos and had to seek greener pastures at FC Platinum.

There is no doubt that Dynamos fans and officials hate FC Platinum for attempting to “usurp” their status in 2011 when they nearly scooped the league title.

And now, according to the Dynamos faithfuls, they take away one of their defenders in a move they see as provocation. No one, including the officials who should be mature enough to know better, is worried about the player’s welfare.

Now for a player to move from Dynamos to FC Platinum is really a shocker to many considering the fact that the Moneybags have also put another Dynamos player Devon Chafa on their wish-list. Chafa was suspended by Fifa, but has just two weeks before he completes his ban for using a prohibited substance.

Dynamos chairman Keni Mubaiwa lashed out at Bello in language that is not only undiplomatic, but inciting:

“Bello is a rebel and I don’t know if we are going to see another rebel from the players here. It may sound a strong word to call him rebel, but the reason I used the word is because we discussed with him and we agreed terms. He was supposed to come and get his contract from the secretary, but the next thing we heard was that he had run away,” charged the angry chairman last week.

But these labels — such as “traitor” and “rebel” do hurt the players and exposes them to hooliganism and abuse.

Mambare will return to Barbourfields this season in Dynamos colours while Bello will return to Harare for matches in FC Platinum colours. How will they be treated by fans? We all know what Bosso and Dembare fans are capable of.

These “problems” are caused by contractual issues.

It seems the problem of letting contracts run out first before clubs start negotiating is peculiar to big clubs such as Highlanders and Dynamos.

And when players leave, they cry foul. Do they think players feed, clothe and send their kids to school using some form of currency called loyalty?

Fifa rules and regulations clearly state that a player is on the market six months before the end of his existing contract and this even allows him to sign a pre-contract with another club.

We know that the big issue is money, but administratively these big clubs must lead the way, which is why Fifa is enforcing club licensing rules that must see all clubs having full time office bearers.

Right now the key people at Dynamos are busy elsewhere where they make money — Mubaiwa is a farmer and businessman while secretary-general Webster Chikengezha is the managing director of Nyaradzo Funeral Services.

At Highlanders, chairman Peter Dube is also a businessman, his secretary Andrew Tapela works at How Mine, while treasurer Jerry Sibanda works for Bulawayo City Council.

That alone presents a challenge when dealing with players who have daily needs and a technical team that also needs attention.

Their principal sponsors such as BancABC and kit suppliers Adidas need people they can talk to daily.

Football Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Paul Gundani said Mubaiwa’s statements on Bello were unfortunate.

“The most disappointing thing in such cases is that it is the players who are always accused even when they are innocent.

Clubs should always learn to accept that players move and should actually support them when they wish to develop their careers elsewhere,” Gundani told a local daily over the weekend.

And these are the transfers not likely to happen anytime in Zimbabwean football:

Denver Mukamba from Bidvest Wits to Highlanders

Rodreck Mutuma from Bloemfontein Celtic to FC Platinum

Devon Chafa from Dynamos to Caps United

Notable stars who crossed the great divide

BUT have there been some surprise moves elsewhere, yes, Givemesport, explains.

Luis Figo – Barcelona to Real Madrid (£44 million)

Undoubtedly recognised as the most controversial move in Spanish football history, Figo committed the cardinal sin of leaving Barcelona for Real Madrid in the summer of 2000.

Los Blancos paid £44 million for the Portuguese star, who had a pigs head thrown at him on return to the Nou Camp, with fans of the Catalan giants feeling betrayed by one of their idols.

Sol Campbell – Tottenham Hotspur to Arsenal (free transfer)

If Figo to Madrid was big in Spain, the decision of Campbell to join the Gunners from Spurs at the end of his contract was hugely controversial in north London.
The move proved a success when it comes to silverware, with two Premier League and three FA Cup winners’ medals in the cabinet. However, his nickname at White Hart Lane remains Judas.

Cristiano Ronaldo – Manchester United to Real Madrid (£80 million)

The Portuguese winger completed the biggest move in football history in 2009, leaving the Red Devils after six years of unprecedented success at Old Trafford.
After failing to secure a move in the summer of ’08, manager Sir Alex Ferguson is reported to have told the 95-cap international to give him one more season at United, before brokering the mega-move to the Bernabeu.

Carlos Tevez – Manchester United to Manchester City (free transfer)

The Argentine international had already completed a controversial move to West Ham United before switching to Old Trafford, where he enjoyed a successful two seasons.

However, when his contract expired, a new deal could not be agreed, and the Argentinian moved across Manchester to big-spending City.

Despite a recent spat with manager Roberto Mancini, the move seems to have paid dividends with another title to his name before he moved to Juventus.
Fernando Torres – Liverpool to Chelsea (£50 million)

Out-of-form and out-of-favour at Liverpool, the Spanish striker handed in a transfer request at Anfield amidst rumours that Roman Abramovich was willing to splash some cash on the former Atletico Madrid star.

Few would have guessed that £50 million would change hands for the then 28-year-old though, and his lack of form after completing the move suggests it wasn’t money well spent.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Zimboz hunhu hatichina ,kukara ,hutsinye kusada kuti vamwe vararame hupenyu hurinani .Zvichapera rinhi nhai hama wee.

  2. In as much as we would want player x to remain at our favourate clubs, we must appreciate that players are also human like all of us and they must follow their conscience fullstop

  3. Guys when you reporters report first have facts of what really trnspired.in the case of Belo he is said to have accepted part of his sign on fee he was said tohave received his january salary.Players must be educated and be wel informed because some of their actions wil destroy their careers.imagine Dynamos taking legal actions agnist Belo he wil spend sometime on the sidelines,by the time the case wil be over someone wil have played beyond expectations ,for example Ashley Cole is now a bench womer the as a result of injury

  4. Players have moved among the so called big teams for as long as I can remember in Zimbabwe. Bosso, dembare, Caps, Saints etc nothing new there. Media just wants to sell papers chete

  5. “And now, according to the Dynamos faithfuls, they take away one of their defenders in a move they see as provocation.” Aiwazvie, wakatogona. Iwawo madandara aPasuwa iwawo. Ngavatobva vaende vega nekuti ichasvika nguva yekuti Pasuwa achadzingwa basa season ino iyi isina kwayambosvika. Vose vaidya naye vachadzingwawo tosara nema players chaiwo mu Dembare. Shiri yakangwara inovaka dendere rayo mvura isati yaturuka. Well done mufana; INTELLIGENT.

  6. before I looked at the receipt four $4872 , I have faith that…my… father in law was like they say actualy bringing in money part-time from their laptop. . there sisters neighbour had bean doing this for only about eighteen months and just took care of the loans on their villa and got Honda NSX . find out this here,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, http://WWW.Work72.COM

  7. Dembare paid 7500 per year for mambare for a three year contract. Offered a better salary thaN what highlanders offered.Gave Mambare a chance to play in Champions league and the biggest club in Zimbabwean football. Why would Mambare turn down such an offer and continue being booed at BF?

  8. Ko vana Tafadzwa “Fire” Rusike nana Oscar Machapa vaimbova ku Caps wani,ikozvino vave Dembare,even Pakamisa,ko ibhorazve, regai vanavatsvage mari please

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