Ex-coach Eymael’s remarks reflected crisis in Yanga, not Mtibwa Sugar

30Jul 2020
Michael Eneza
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Ex-coach Eymael’s remarks reflected crisis in Yanga, not Mtibwa Sugar

CITY giants Young Africans SC (Yanga) have concluded the season on a sour note after a verbal lashing from erstwhile head coach, Luc Eymael, which had overly racist undertones for the complaint he raised against the fans.

Yanga head coach, Luc Eymael.

Even if to an extent the coach had definitely valid complaints against the conduct of a not so small section of the club fans, the selection of comparison, with monkeys and how they behave, was too familiar for the club leadership to let it pass.

But it appeared the coach was also declaring he ought to leave as Yanga is not the place for him actually in all regards like welfare, training pitches, fans, referees.

While the coach had to pay the price for his outbursts and seek for another job – and possibly without benefits arising from termination of contract since the matter is disciplinary rather than technical dispensation on the part of the club – it is an eye opener.

The erstwhile coach played the role of what in local tribes is known as ‘utani,’ the sort of thing that a Simba SC fan would tell a Yanga fan, the difference being that he isn’t a local fan and he takes his standards from outside the country.

It is in that regard that ‘utani’ comparisons he made were painful to say the least, but had a scruple of substance.

The tragic aspect about this incident is that it had to take a foreign coach who becomes fed up with either one or other item to tell us some obvious things we don’t seem to realize.

This however can’t hide the fact that his immediate complaints on the match with Mtibwa Sugar FC or Simba being favoured by referees because they have money sort of lacked substance.

No were many readers or those who happened to listen to audio tape relaying of this remarks impressed by the issue of not having a car, or wifi to his mobile phone, etc as those are items readily available from the shops but appears to have wished for a club four wheel drive.

Still it will be unfortunate if the Yanga leadership will not have grasped anything on the ex-head coach’s remarks on the behavior of the fans, aside from the issue of proximity to a darker non-hominid species in the bush.

The sort of issues that would put a coach in mental disarray are plentiful in Yanga, and let it be said that traditionally the Jangwani Street club side fans are believed to be slightly more rowdy, less settled than their rival fans across the street at Msimbazi.

What a coach would expect is that the fans are loyal to the team, support the players, not to demand from players in a noisy manner, insult, even seek to physically attack one or other player because he ‘didn’t play well’ or failed to score a ‘very clear’ goal.

There are some mental aspects of the remarks which one writer described as an astonishing tirade, that this followed a 1-1 draw with Mtibwa Sugar in which Yanga momentarily dropped to third in the league.

That wasn’t the final position and he could easily have reflected that they still had chance to remain on second slot, or return to it, depending on how the final match went.

In that case it wasn’t this result per se that explains his emotional explosion, but what went on in the club until that moment, as a finale of sorts.

Perhaps the valid criticism that we ought to pick is that for clubs that seek honours in African football, our level of training groups and even competition stadiums are lamentable, and the level of discipline of the fans, their loyalty to the players and the coach, decidedly parlous.

The fans are self-important, each one comes to the stadium full of impressions as to how the game should do, and if this or that player fails to realize the fan’s imagination of how to wrestle from a tackle – or how to tackle or shoot – it is bedlam.

Especially if the club side will not score another goal to cancel that error and win the match, as he wants.

So with regard to Luc Eymael, one can only repeat the oft-quoted maxim, ‘render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar and unto God that which belongs to God,’ in which case the erstwhile coach made close to insulting remarks in relation to the club, and fans.

But he also pointed out a string of weaknesses which the club can’t solve overnight, and a lamentable football culture that appears to have overstayed in the way fans relate to clubs.

But the issue is they must let off steam or dissipate as clubs fans, totally.

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