Will Iddi tolerate mischievous behaviour shown by players? 

13May 2022
Nassir Nchimbi
The Guardian
Will Iddi tolerate mischievous behaviour shown by players? 

​​​​​​​LAST month former midfielder Athuman Idd, popularly known as ‘Chuji’, was awarded a CAF Diploma D coaching certificate by the Tanzania Football Federation after he graduated the course, most people that had attended the ceremony smiled.

Athuman Idd.

Life comes at you fast, Idd has today become a coach, life is moving fast. In the past few years, Iddi was on the pitch playing football. Now he has become a coach.

What kind of coach will he be? I do not know. The last memory of Iddi comes to mind when I remember the story of his verbal spat with his coach, Marcio Maximo, at the senior national team, 'Taifa Stars'.

There was an old picture showing Iddi talking to Maximo while they were on the 'Taifa Stars' bus at the airport in Ivory Coast, once the squad had battled it out in the 2009 African Nations Championship finals.

Iddi and fellow midfielder, Haruna Moshi ‘Boban’, separated themselves from the team after coach Maximo was outraged by their misconduct.

All the way they were isolated and hurled harsh words at the coach.

When they arrived at Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam, Iddi and Moshi were the first to disembark and leave without following the procedure observed by other players. It was the beginning of Iddi's end in the Maximo squad.

In any case, Idd had clashed with Maximo over discipline, the latter was a strong coach in terms of discipline.

It is the same with many successful coaches in the world, discipline is the very first thing in a team.

It starts with the discipline of the coach, then comes the discipline of all players and staff in the team.

This is where soccer lovers wait to see Iddi, finding out what kind of coach will he be in developing local football.

Before he gets on the football pitch and starts coaching, he ought to regret every act of indiscipline he had ever showcased as a player.

Even the Maximo incident ought to be re-evaluated and Iddi ought to tell football lovers if he was right or not.

Will he feel safe if some of his players do the same to him this time?

But will he also tolerate players with serious misconduct? Iddi was a midfield maestro, I think one can be a good player but he or she cannot be a good coach.

This is where soccer enthusiasts wait to see if he will change that sentiment.

Apart from coaching and disciplinary matters, there is something else that makes me happy.

When an individual gets older he or she tends to find new challenges because he or she is tired of doing the same thing for a long time. Life is moving fast and we should not fail to go with it in parallel.

The majority saw England forward Wayne Rooney take the pitch at the age of 16. It was his outfit Everton FC's clash against Arsenal. He scored and he turned into the talk of the town.

He later landed at Manchester United. He became one of the greatest stars, he later went to Everton FC, and went to the United States but is now a coach.

No wonder I will continue to be a football fan when his son, Kay, starts playing in the English Premier League. Time is moving fast for footballers.

And right here I remember Iddi again. Just yesterday he was a national squad star, today he is a coach.

It is a lesson for Simba's midfielder Jonas Mkude that football life is moving fast and footballers have to plan.

They need to plan for earning more money so that they do not become victims of hopelessness in the future.

There are some former players I know who have ventured into coaching, not by choice.

It is a source of livelihood because the streets have been difficult.

Life has also gone faster for Iddi and several soccer players with similar traits because right now I think they are the ones who can reflect more on the opportunities they wasted while being great performers.

For example, one can hardly believe that this time Iddi decides to become a coach, while he never played professional football outside Tanzania.

Of all the current ingredients in the country's football no one has reached Iddi's class, foreign football players though might have reached his class.

None of the active local soccer players has reached Iddi's class, he knew how to hold the ball, dribble, and pass correctly, but more so his long passes, as well as the short passes, were well-executed.

A player like Iddi finished his football at the then National Stadium, now known as Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, in Dar es Salaam.

No one has ever seen him try his luck outside Tanzania. This is where the soccer star came to an end.

At least midfielder Novatus Dismas, now turning out for Israel's Beitar TA, is trying not to repeat the mistake.

Sometimes when one thinks of Iddi now trying his coaching job, he or she must remember how Iddi left football early, he is 34 years old according to the Wikipedia network.

He is already perceived as a former player but soccer followers should remember that in February this year Portuguese striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, turned 37.

Football supporters should ask themselves, how old is Zlatan Ibrahimovic? How many 34-year-old players are on the pitch?

Even though Ibrahimovic might have cheated by mentioning his age, there are still many players on the African continent that are issuing false details about their age but are playing for a long time.

I still believe that maybe Iddi would have been on the pitch for a long time if he had had good discipline off the pitch.

I believe that if he had left the country he would have played football for a long time.

In Europe and America, teams maintain the player's life. The sides value good grounds, good health, perfect exercises, as well as a good environment in general.

I believe Mbwana Samatta can play football even when he turns 38, he has advanced his football days by going abroad.

He can leave Belgium for Saudi Arabia, then return to Africa to at least play for Black Leopards of South Africa.

He could probably return to Tanzania and join Mtibwa Sugar, that is what African players do.

Iddi, as is the case with Moshi, Shadrack Nsajigwa, and others, bowed out of football early because of the country's environment.

I believe they could have played longer if they had opted to play abroad.

At the moment local soccer fanatics can all but welcome Iddi who is now a football coach.

Football followers look forward to seeing what the former midfielder can do for the country in coaching and strengthening junior soccer players' discipline. It will be a little funny but that is the change of life at times.