Readers Have Their Say

Written By: The Lowdown - Nov• 30•00


I’m writing in reference to the malodorous saga involving Andrew Tembo, Mwape Miti and the Danish football club OB Odious (sorry, OB Odense, may they be relegated for ever and ever) and the general passivity of our local media in responding to the whole story.

Here we have two young bright hopes turning their backs on their duty and their nation, and all we get are a few mumbles and lines about “duty” and “commitment” and the issue dies down. At the end of the day, how difficult is it for our local newspapers to conduct interviews (by phone, fax, email, carrier pigeons, whatever) with the two players and the Club officials. We need to find out what’s going on because this issue stinks.

We all know the facts. Jan Brouwer sees the boys in Denmark and there’s no problem. A week later a fax comes in saying they’ve resigned from the National Team (as if it’s a 9 – 5 job! Playing for your country is the greatest honour in football dammit!). It sounds as if the club is trying to be clever and is putting undue pressure on the boys (they’ll see). Not to excuse the players, but they could be ignorant of their FIFA guaranteed rights as international players and are easily being manipulated by the Odious officials. Afterall, these boys have gone from ultra low Kwacha based salaries, playing on surfaces where green grass is an endangered species, to thousands of hard currency greenbacks a week. Their heads are probably spinning so much they generate electricity (a possible solution for ZESCO maybe?). Add to this mix cunning club officials adding their own spin and what do you get? Here’s a possible scenario:

(Scene: Odense official in club boardroom with Tembo and Miti. Through the boardroom window snow is seen falling from a brooding black sky with occassional flashes of lightning) Club Ofiicial – “Jeez. This greenhouse effect is playing havoc with the weather. How the hell can it be snowing in June? Anyway, you Zambian players, this is the situation (sardonic smile). We spent a lot of bucks getting you here. You owe us big. If you play for Z, you lose all your bucks. Think of all your bululus back home waiting for their handouts, do you want to jeopardise your job? It’s better if you resign from the national team.” ½ second pause

Tembo and Miti – “Okay Bwana”.

Someone needs to explain the facts of life to the players: It’s through playing for their country that they got exposure in the first place. Do they want to play for a two-bit club forever? After all, their colleagues are beginning to break into proper leagues, where the football is bigtime (and so are the bucks). Only the national team can give them that exposure.

If OB Odious have been playing dirty tricks, they should be reported to FIFA and heavily punished. Perhaps the Danish embassy can help. Or is it Danish policy to steal the few talented individuals that impoverished countries like Zambia produce. What next, Amon Simutowe to be offered free lessons in the Danish language? Anyway, while FAZ and Danish football politicians argue it out ever so politely, me, I’ll just follow Edem Djokotoes advice. See, I figure the problem is lack of respect. So to teach them a lesson I’ve located a hard core sangoma and handed over the necessaries (chicken, goat and chibuku). Pretty soon a plague of boils will break out on the entire OB Odious (sorry, Odense) club, it will flash lightning everyday at noon, snow will fall permanently on their pitch and they’ll be relegated forever and ever. Then we’ll see how quickly the club will encourage Andrew and Mwape to come home. It’s all about respect I tell you, respect!

Tum Kazunga, Lusaka



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