Hassan Dilunga's injury a lesson to many local football players

19Nov 2022
Nassir Nchimbi
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Hassan Dilunga's injury a lesson to many local football players

IS there a football lover in Tanzania who cares where the country's forward Hassan Dilunga is now? Almost 24 months ago he was shining whilst turning out for Simba SC and later he got injured, he began to foot the costs of his treatment.

Hassan Dilunga,

This is the reality of life, especially in the capitalist world. While the goal-getter was injured, his contract expired. Simba SC decided to part ways with the player, seeking to champion its interest.

Soccer enthusiasts can hardly blame Simba SC given Dilunga's contract had expired and it is not possible to extend the contract for a player who has long-term injuries.

People are embracing socialist ideas who wanted to witness Simba SC extend its contract with Dilunga and then keep on footing his treatment costs, the capitalist world does not exist this way.

Simba SC  took what is deemed as the right decision in the interest of the outfit, Dilunga's position was filled by another player and life went on.

What is however more surprising is that when some fans argue about the competence showcased by the Msimbazi Street-based outfit's wingers Kibu Dennis and Ousmane Sakho they do not remember Dilunga.

They hardly ask whether he is getting better or not, they hardly ask anything. They want new players to take over either in January or at the end of the season.

I know either Dilunga or his close people will be complaining that Simba SC has abandoned him.

Simba SC is right and football is a brutal sport on and off the pitch. Local footballers are the ones who lack aggressiveness off the pitch.

Outside the pitch, local players are turned into fans of the popular outfits, when they are in great form they tend to make three mistakes.

The first mistake comes to view when they sign a contract while they are wanted by many clubs. The player makes it clear that he wants to go to Yanga and once this is known by the outfit, then he is registered at a low transfer fee.

Midfielder Salum Abubakar, alias 'Sure Boy', is an example, a good number of the sport's followers knew he was seeking to move to Yanga when he was closing in on leaving Azam FC.

Even when he got into trouble with Azam FC, Yanga felt safe and Simba SC hardly wanted to attempt to rope the performer in, these kinds of footballers are mostly found in Tanzania.

In other countries, a player can wish to move to a certain team but will do so because he already knows the signing fee set to be offered to the performer.

Local football lovers knew Abubakar as a Yanga player for a long time even though he was wearing Azam FC's jerseys, these are among the mistakes that local players make.

The second mistake local players make is in view when they sign another contract to continue serving the clubs they are turning out for.

They are turned into fans of such clubs and the clubs hardly worry about the players in question because they are tied to the outfits verbally and practically to the leaders.

The player does not indicate whether he is likely to be free or has thoughts of moving elsewhere.

This action lowers his stake, when this happens, he is fit and sees himself as a king in the respective club.

European footballers tend to break their relationships with their respective sides and look at their interests.

Even those who grew up in the club, in times like this, listen more to their management than listening to the sweet songs of the leaders.

A soccer fanatic ends up querying such a motive. Chelsea has nurtured Mason Mount since he was seven years old, but today he has been negotiating a new contract with the outfit for a long time.

Had this been in view in Tanzania, it would be easy to say to him, 'Well, we nurtured you, why can't you understand us?'

The same could be said of a past incident that took place for more than six months when Liverpool was in talks with midfielder Steven Gerrard.

Gerrard turned out to be a midfielder that Liverpool brought up and it would have been easy for the outfit to say 'Gerrard, we have raised you but why are you disturbing us?'

However, life does not go that way, a footballer should be ruthless when it comes to making decisions because the club will at times be ruthless to the player even though it will be protecting its interest.

Such a resolution was reached by Simba in the issue concerning Dilunga. Local players should focus on caring for their interests when they play because they are not fans, they are club employees.

I am thankful that foreign players are plying their trade in Tanzania and now teaching their local counterparts to embrace such an approach.

There was an issue about Ugandan attacker Emmanuel Okwi, then Zambian midfielder Clatous Chama.

When Simba SC wanted to extend these footballers' contracts life was not easy for them. The footballers separated service from fanaticism and managed to get lucrative contracts.

I hardly know how Dilunga fares but what I know is that soon he will not be as prosperous as he used to be once turning out for Simba SC.

All I know is, if Chama faces an incident that happened to Dilunga, the Zambian midfielder would hardly suffer because he is prosperous thanks to his self-awareness.

The third reason is that local players should look at having insurance considering life can go so fast for a football player.

It should be noted that Dilunga is not playing anymore at the moment because of injuries, not either old age or a decline in form.

In other countries' footballers have insurance that cushions them after picking injuries. Their insurance may state that such a performer will continue to be paid for either two or three years if the player suffers injuries that will suddenly stop the performer from taking the pitch.

I hardly know if Dilunga had this kind of insurance but if he lacks it, then it is something that fellow local footballers should learn from him.

The biggest problem for local players and the rest is that sometimes they think that keeping insurance amounts to predicting problems.

It is not true, problems will be there, such a predicament is akin to the problem facing Dilunga and compatriot Gerard Mdamu of Polisi Tanzania.

Local players should keep their health insurance at all times. I know that local clubs are always working hard in this matter but this is a matter for the individual and his family.

I know that Argentinian footballer Sergio Aguero is being paid a large amount of money as insurance after failing to continue playing football due to health problems.

I know that the family of late Cameroonian midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe was paid good money after the player had passed on while turning out for the country's national team in France in 2003.

Tanzania's football players should start securing insurance and it will help them shortly.

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