Was it sabotage or bad luck?

19May 2016
Mohammed Ugasa
The Guardian
Was it sabotage or bad luck?

ONE of the Mainland premier soccer league’s bizarre incident involved a gift goal conceded by Simba during a return leg match against their bitter archrivals Young Africans at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on February 20, 2016.


The match had kicked off with either side looking intent to score and it was on the brink of half time when the drama unfolded.

Simba’s overlapping defender Hassan Kessy had full control of the ball yet with galore of options at his disposal. He would have decided to kick it for a throw ball or a corner should there be any pressure subjected to him. Yanga striker Donald Ngoma was lurking behind Kessy and looked harmless by then as he was just chasing Kessy’s shadow.

Kessy who has been trusted with full back two has enjoyed first choice line-up by all coaches who trainmed Simba during the season. He looked a promising star and pretty an assest for the premiership stalwarts up to this point.
The dimunitive defender then opted for a back pass to his goalkeeper, Vincent Agban.

The pass was short and weak to allow Ngoma an easy interception before rounding off the goalkeeper and slot home the opener for Yanga.

By the time this was happening Simba had already suffered a huge blow as centre-back Banda was flashed a red card for Simba after barely 17 minutes, to play with numerical adisadvantage.

The gift goal by Kessy transferred a huge advantage for Yanga as they ended the opening half with slim but vital advantage.

Actually Simba were under intense pressure as they kicked off the second half trailing by a goal and still had to endure a numerical disadvantage. Simba then went on to lose the game and this is where they dropped crucial points that loosened title chase grip for the season.

Back to Kessy, Simba still gave him the extensive benefit of doubt and used him in subsequent matches of the league. They termed the incident as an ordinary bad luck as no human being is perfect.

However, Kessy was again involved in another incident when he committed a cincial rough against a Toto Africa player during the return leg played at teh National Stadium. Kessy was given marching orders by the referee as Simba struggled with numerical disadvantage right from the second half kickoff.

Simba went on o lose the game, a potential loss of points that played a huge role to backpedal the team’s title pursuit.
Before the season had reached a half way mark, Simba had attempted to extend Kessy’s contract.

The player was hesitant and never showed any sign of continuing to play for Simba. Kessy had served Simba for one and half season.

After he conceded a red card in a match against Toto, Simba had imposed a five-match suspension to the player as they alleged he picked up the red card for no apparent reason.

Just before the season has ended, Kessy has already joined Simba archrivals Young Africans. While there is no conclusive proof to whether Kessy had deliberately sabotaged Simba or otherwise, Simba fans and officials have a heap of reasons to suspect him.

However, for a man or player of ordinary prudence, aiming to cross over to archrivals, Kessy ought not to have allegedly done that. It’s very difficult to condemn Kessy at this point that he was at the centre of the sabotage as soccer is a team sport. How about the rest of the players?

However, a mistake that results in conceding a goal will have always be associated with suspiciaon like this pointed at Kessy.

However, crossing over to Yanga is not a permanent solution to end Kessy’s problems. What will happen should he concede a similar mistake in a match against Simba. How will be Kessy’s position at this point.

Will it not be a case reminiscent to goalkeeper Juma Kaseja who crossed over to Yanga then conceded a poor goal during inaugural ‘Nani Mtani Jembe’ promotional match in December 2013?