‘The Mighty Warriors didn’t deserve it’

MIGHT MIGHTY WARRIORSHumphrey Kwaramba
I MUST admit that I don’t miss your Sharuko on Saturday column, no matter what. I have never felt compelled to write to you because, generally, I agree with your line of thinking in most of your articles.

That was until the story on Wednesday titled “SHAME ON YOU” in which you attacked CAF for allegedly snubbing our Mighty Warriors for the BEST TEAM OF THE YEAR award and Yaya Toure for the 2015 African Player of the Year.

For the first time, I couldn’t agree with you.

Firstly, I would like to state that I’m not a big fan of either CAF or Issa Hayatou.

To me, Hayatou represents everything that is wrong about African football, CAF is too biased towards North and West Africa and I hate them with a passion.

I also admire Yaya Toure for all his achievements in his career, including his Champions League triumph with Barca and his league titles both in Spain and England.

I rank him among the likes of Drogba, Eto’o, Weah, Kanu and Oliseh.

But if voters were looking specifically at the year 2015, then Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was THE man.

Yes, his Dortmund was struggling in the 2014-15 season, but isn’t it remarkable that the same team managed to qualify for the Europa League that same season?

He had a hand in transforming Dortmund from second from bottom on the log to qualification for the Europa League through his goals.

The argument that because Dortmund won nothing last season makes Auba an unworthy winner makes no sense at all.

What did Yaya Toure’s Man City win?

My research tells me Aubameyang scored 41 goals in the whole of 2015 in all competitions.

The whole of 2014-15 season Yaya scored just 10 goals in one of his worst seasons.

The current one he has five and, surely this is not vintage Yaya.

Rewarding Yaya would have been rewarding mediocrity, to put it mildly.

You argue that Yaya deserved it more because he won the AFCON title with Cote d’Ivoire.

When has winning AFCON become the yardstick to measure our African stars?

Yaya has won this prize four years running and, in that period, Zambia and Nigeria won AFCON titles.

No player from these two countries won the African Player of the Year and Yaya collected his awards without any questions.

Now that Yaya has lost his crown, he has the temerity to call those who voted “pathetic,” and if this is not hypocrisy, then I don’t know what it is.

He has the nerve to trash Africa which voted for him these past four years.

The voting is only fair if Yaya wins, what type of mentality is that?

I expected you to tell Yaya that he was being a sore loser and should grow up.

He is one man who doesn’t know how to shut up and sometimes he behaves like a spoilt child, remember the “cake incident” at Man City the other time?

I suspect your hatred of CAF and everything they stand for clouded your judgment.

Yaya can’t always win just because he is Yaya.

He has been a pale shadow of his former self and should accept that somebody played better than him in 2015 and that player is Aubameyang.

The stats prove that.

He was rewarded four years in succession for his stellar performances at Man City and NOT for his exploits in Africa and now he thinks it’s not right to reward Auba for his exploits in Germany.

That’s hypocrisy!

He has already lost my respect.

A true professional is magnanimous in defeat, you congratulate the winner and you move on.

Africa is not Yaya and Yaya is not Africa. And now to the Mighty Warriors.

Let me state that I’m as fiercely patriotic as you are when it comes to things Zimbabwean and African.

But as patriotic as I am, I don’t think our girls deserved to win the Women National Team of the Year ahead of the Cameroon women’s team.

Yes, our girls beat Cameroon to qualify for the Olympics but surely Cameroon did more in 2015 by appearing at the Women’s World Cup and at the African Games.

The fact that our Mighty Warriors achieved their success under difficult circumstances is neither here nor there.

ZIFA’s bungling and their lack of support to our girls can’t blind us into not seeing reality and rewarding teams, depending on their circumstances, would actually set a very dangerous precedence in the whole of Africa.

It would actually disadvantage well-run football associations who leave no stone unturned in giving their teams all the necessary support for them to excel.

I, therefore, believe that prize went to the deserving team who achieved more than our beloved Mighty Warriors.

Let me say that my respect for you hasn’t diminished because we have seen things differently on this matter.

We can’t always agree on everything.

You are still my model sports journalist, you say publicly what others say in hushed tones. That’s my story and I’m out.

• Humphrey Kwaramba was responding to the lead article, in The Herald on Wednesday, where our Senior Sports Editor, Robson Sharuko, sharply criticised CAF for snubbing Yaya Toure and the Mighty Warriors when they handed their 2015 awards. Interestingly, the Ivorian was voted the 12th best player in the world in 2015 in a contest organised by FIFA, even picking more than a dozen votes as the third best player, while Aubemayang did not even feature in the top 20.

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