Yanga penalty and the intrigues involved
The East and Central Africa Challenge Cup (CECAFA) council ban imposed on Dar es Salaam Young Africans (Yanga) after boycotting the third place match with their arch rivalry Simba last week, has produced a heated debate over the validity of the penalty.
While some fans and stakeholders support the move, others question whether the offence merited such a heavy penalty.
CECAFA slapped Yanga with a three-year ban from participating in tournaments organised by the East and Central African body for boycotting the match that would have produced a third place winner of the tournament.
The penalty, however, will only function when the club wins the Mainland soccer championship title.
The club, the oldest in the country, has also been fined US Dollars 35,000 (more than 35m/-).
The Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) a day later also banned the club from participating in local championships organised by the federation and foreign tournaments other than Cecafa for two years for the same umbrage.
Simba and Yanga were to clash in a preceding match of the Challenge Cup finals on July 27, 2008 at the Main National Stadium in Dar es Salaam but Yanga did not show up.
Those who uphold the penalty said considering the gravity of the mistake, the ban is an appropriate punishment, because it will serve as a lesson to other clubs.
They maintained that by the act, Yanga did not show sportsmanship and had defamed the state and that something harsh needs to be done to discipline them.
Other stakeholders questioned the modalities involved in instituting the ruling.
The club`s publicity secretary, Francis Lucas said they boycotted the match in protest over what he claims was failure by Cecafa to pay them and Simba 50m/- before the match as agreed at a previous meeting.
TFF Vice-president Crisensius Magori who not only attended the meeting but chaired it, was said to have promised to give an answer to their demand after consulting TFF President, Leodgar Tenga.
He claims Magori never gave them any feedback, only to contact them when Simba were already at the stadium.
Yanga leadership is appealing against the punishment to the TFF.
One of the reasons that has contributed to our failure in various engagements is politicising everything and in many instances setting aside governing rules.
Yanga as an institution has its constitution and regulations governing operations. So are sports associations and the inherent tournaments.
Leaders ought to carefully consult those regulations, to avoid self-hurting actions.
By interpretation the most affected by the ban are the players.
Their morale is likely to scale down because they know that even if they perform better they won`t go anywhere until the next season when they will be allowed to move to other clubs.
Do they really deserve the penalty for an error which they didn`t commit? That is a matter of discussion.
- SOURCE: Sunday Observer