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LATELY there broke out very interesting news on the sale of highly talented Tanzanian midfielder Mrisho Ngassa  to El Merreikh Sports Club of Sudan. As the Sudanese club conducts its affairs with sheer professionalism, that news was good due to the fact that for that player to play for that team means reliability for advancement in his career.

Overtly, this success is seen to be confined to Ngassa and his kith and kin but covertly, it is of all Tanzania soccer players and hence to mar this opportunity, as the case has been, does affect not only Ngassa and his kith and kin but all Tanzania Soccer players.

Yes, the opportunity has foolishly and unreasonably been marred by Ngassa, probably, after receiving very foolish advice to that effect. The story is that the Sudanese faced Tanzania’s Simba Officials in Uganda during Chalenge Cup tournament asking them for buying the player. The Simba officials demanded unspecified amount of money which seemed to be very high for the Sudanese.

Then, a certain well wisher tipped them that Simba was not justified to sell the player as he plays for the team on loan basis being a player of another Tanzania club, Azam F.C. Then, the El Merreikh officials consulted Azam officials who offered them to buy the player at USD 75,000. After that, the Sudanese club officials discussed with the player and they agreed with him to pay him USD 70,000 and monthly salary of USD 4000 in contract of two years.

Aggrieved with that, Simba complained to Tanzania Football Association (TFF) against the sale of “their” hitherto player. Through its Secretary General, TFF ruled out that Azam had absolute mandate to sell the player as they were theirs. Ridiculously, after that “ruling”, the matter was sent to the Legal, Ethics and Players Committee for deliberation and decision making.

Before the hearing of that case, Simba, Azam and El Merreikh met in Dar es Salaam to settle the matter mutually. Ngassa was supposed  to attend the meeting but he could not be traced and his cell phone was not reachable! Even thus, the trio discussed and decided to improve package of the player and payment to both clubs. It was decided that the player would pocket USD 75,000 while monthly salary would be the same-USD 4000. Every club would get USD 50,000 out of total USD 100,000 to be paid.

After that agreement, El Merreikh wanted to meet the player but he was hidden somewhere, his known cell phone number not reachable, only to be seen once in interview with a certain local TV asking the interviewer not to reveal where he was!

In that inerview, he stated vehemently and and with insistence that he did not want to join El Merreikh, ostensibly, for the deal to be settled without involving him! A lie and absurdity. It is a lie because he had discussed with El Merreikh officials in Uganda during Challenge Cup of this year. It is absurd as he was supposed to attend the Dar es Salaam meeting but he voluntarily opted not to do so, yet he complains of being sidelined!

It goes without saying that Ngassa is doing most of sensitive things through advice of others instead of doing so independently, seeking advice only on modalities to undertake those things. This is proved by the fact that from the first time when news of being sold to El Merreikh broke out, his statements in respect of that issue has been changing like chameleon!

Such statements are as:-

1. “Simba and Azam should meet to resolve their wrangle on my transfer to El Merreikh, so that I go there for my livelihood”. He said that when he was to get USD 70.000.

2. “I am aggrieved with Simba to be a hindrance block to my chance to go to Sudan for getting new soccer experience especially when one considers that this is my opportunity to expose myself internationally”. He said that when he was to get USD 70,000.

3. ” I will never go to Sudan to play for El Marreikh because I was sidelined in the process of my transfer”. He said that when he was to get USD 75,000

The El Merreikh officials were highly flabbergasted by Ngassa’s conduct seeing it to be a bizarre decision by such a talented national team player like Ngassa. They vowed not again to attempt to buy any Tanzanian player. That is one reason for me to believe that Ngassa’s childish act has affected our soccer as talented youngsters as Frank Domayo, Simon Msuva, Jonas Mkude, Shomari Kapombe, Mcha Khamis, Salum Abubakar, Ramadhan Singano, Edward Christopher and others will never dream of playing in Europe via El Merreikh for the sin committed by Ngassa.

The other reason for my believing so is the fact that Ngassa’s decision has denied our country exposure of one young man from our country at Sudan. New technics he would get, would help support our national team. Indeed, Mrisho Ngassa has let down Tanzania soccer.

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Written by Israel Saria

For the last 20 years I have been working as a football pundit. This experience has provided me with a very useful insight into football and the opportunity to carry out extensive research into the game including its players, the stadiums, the rules and tactics and I have also been grateful to meet a wide range of people connected to football in the UK, Tanzania, Germany .....

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