The Sunday Mail
Zifa has a sickening habit of sending late invitations to foreign-based players. They further complicate matters by asking the players to foot their travel bills on the often unfulfilled promise that the lads will be reimbursed on arrival home. One or both of the above must have pushed Burnley defender Tendai Darikwa into an explosion.Darikwa last week lost his cool and announced – on Facebook of all platforms – that he would not be pitching up for the Warriors’ friendly tie against Tanzania today.
“Yes, I received a call-up to the Zimbabwe national team, but due to lack of professionalism from certain people, I will not be there,” posted the 24-year-old defender.
My groupies in the UK tell me Darikwa expected some VIP treatment but got none.
The defender, whose initial efforts to play for the Warriors are said to have been frustrated by one controversial former Zifa official who demanded a “processing fee”, expected his invitation letter to arrive together with his Zimbabwean passport.
Instead it was a letter which arrived late, without an air ticket or the passport. Without a Zimbabwean passport Darikwa would not have been unable to play against the Taifa Stars this afternoon.
The Burnley defender is understood to be very keen on playing for the Warriors, having long realised that his Three Lions wish was just but a pipe dream. However, a lot of bridges have to be mended before this happens.
The Warriors technical team must understand that Darikwa grew up in a system where every “i” is dotted, every “t” is crossed. Some of the things we view as normal, such as arriving in Guinea a few hours before kick-off, are taboo in his world.
On his part Darikwa needs to appreciate that this is a different world; the inexcusable is daily bread and the system is messed up. The national team coach has gone unpaid for five months now but life goes on. Kallisto Pasuwa is not even complaining.
Just a small detour here.
Yours Truly wishes Pasuwa’s manager Gibson Mahachi and his brother Tendai speedy recoveries after they were involved in an accident last week Monday.
Now back to the main news.
Zifa might have erred, like they always do, but it was out of order for Darikwa to lash out in such a manner. If the defender had issues with how things were handled, he ought to have called Warriors team manager Shariff Mussa to iron out matters rather than play to the gallery.
A player who does his business in the Barclays Premier League should walk into the Warriors with his eyes closed.
No one can argue against the notion that a player who is exposed to some of the best training methods in the world will add value. However, such a player should not be treated like a football god, one that we have to worship before they put on that famous gold kit.
He has to make himself part of the family. Without sounding cocky, the Warriors qualified for Afcon without Darikwa; the defender needs the national team more than it needs him.
Darikwa needs to make things happen rather than wait for everything to be delivered on his doorstep. Even Messi would not get such a treatment on these shores.
That’s just the way it is son!
Sir exits the scene!
Sir is social media commentator and writes this column in his personal capacity. Feedback: [email protected]