Captaincy transfers need respect, not harsh or rush

20Jan 2016
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Captaincy transfers need respect, not harsh or rush

Tanzania football is never boring especially off the pitch. It is fast moving with unending comical events. The latest episode is the Taifa Stars’ captaincy saga.

Nadir Haroub.

Last week, Taifa Stars head coach, Charles Mkwasa announced that Mbwana Samatta would be given the armband for all Taifa Stars matches.

If anyone steps into the shoes of Haroub, then Mkwasa seems to have acted quickly without patience. Why he did not wait until the right time comes when the captaincy would have been transferred in the most ceremonial way? How far is March when Stars meet Chad in Nations Cup qualifier? This is the basis for Haroub who claims that he don’t dispute the decision to strip him captaincy, but rather the approach and respect was not observed.

We have seen change of captaincy from Mecky Maxime to Salum Swedi, Swedi to Shadrack Nsajigwa then to Haroub done in ceremonial way. Why not this time? The question of captaincy transfer has always been associated with ceremony. Way back in 1974, Mainland skipper Omar Zimbwe retired and his captaincy band was handed over to Jella Mtagwa in the highly respectful manner at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

In 1977, the late Mohamed Chuma who was a respected full back three for the national team retired ceremoniously as he marched around Uhuru Stadium with his Harambee Stars counterpart, Jonathan Niva.

This is the way to respect players, not through the media. Haroub has announced to retire from the National team, who knows but this might possibly be a premature stepping down to avoid underground backlash for criticizing Mkwasa.

Mkwasa has been heavily criticized for not informing the 32-year-old defender before picking up Samatta as skipper.

The first to fire shot at Mkwasa was none other than the victim of his decision, the stripped captain, Nadir Haroub.

Haroub who has worn the Taifa Star skipper’s armband for the past one-and-half year did not shy to express his dismay over the captaincy issue.
In various media reports, Haroub has said that he is not crying for the armband but rather the way the whole process was conducted.

According to him, Mkwasa and the football federation did not show any respect to him by stripping him the captaincy through the media.

As much as he respects Mkwasa’s decision, Haroub has successfully argued that the least he deserved was a call from the coach prior to revealing the details to the public.

Never shy to express himself, the Yanga defender has termed Mkwasa’s decision as disrespectful to his family and all the years he has put in as a national team player.

In his defence, Mkwasa has been quoted to say he had informed Haroub his decision last month. Mkwasa is said to have given a call to Haroub on December 9th on which he discussed the captaincy issue.

So who is lying to us? Mkwasa or Haroub Haroub? Some have been quick to dismiss Haroub as nothing but a jilted lover.

For all his other perceived weakness, Haroub can be described as a straight guy. He has never been controversial before the media. Why would he lie about Mkwasa not informing him?

Why would Haroub risk tossing away all his credibility that he has fought to preserve all those years? Is it worth? No, way. Haroub story makes sense. However bitter it is, it is more plausible.

The whole process was mishandled. It was done emotionally when everyone wanted to jump into the Samatta praise brigade.

Rather than just remaining silent or seek distortion, Mkwasa must admit that the captaincy is an issue for him to address between now and March before Taifa Stars takes on Chad in the 2017 AFCON qualifier.

In solving such an issue, one has to admit there is an issue, a mistake was made and must be corrected. It is hard to solve the captaincy issue by beating around the bush that Haroub was disrespected.

Though Haroub’s age has advanced, a ready and able replacement is not yet on sight. The absence of Aggrey Morris further complicates the equation. Who will replace Haroub in two months’ time?

The issue can be solved behind the door to save face for both sides. Apologies can be sought far from the public glare and erase the whole bad episode between Mkwasa and his skipper.

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