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Friday, 4 June 2010


It's the Brazilian footballers, who put the beauty in the beautiful game. And now their national team can afford to charge hefty appearance fees, before playing other countries. But what if the team is playing, or rather dealing with countries with not so robust economies?

Take Zimbabwe for example. Still smarting from having the world's worst rate of inflation, the country still dished out nearly 2 million US dollars for the 'once in a lifetime' opportunity to play Brazil, the world's top ranked football team.

The economic hardships notwithstanding, the state even declared a half-day public holiday and President Robert Mugabe and Prime minister Robert Tsvangirai joined the 60,000 strong crowd at Harare's National Stadium.

According to the Zimbabwe Mail online edition, the cash-strapped government is already being taken to task for what some argue is a gross misrepresentation of the country's immediate priorities.

But perhaps even more distressing is the revelation that Zimbabwe's national football team was stranded after the match, with no available transport to take them back to their hotel. One player was quoted saying:
"It is so frustrating that we are now being dumped like this when we are being used to make millions for them."
Bongo country pays up Brazilian Samba appearance fees 

And now the Samba Boys fancy footwork cash machine is headed to Tanzania for another 'friendly' warm up, as it tunes up for the World Cup, in South Africa.

The move is being hailed as a great achievement by the East African nation, even though record prices for the match tickets are being anticipated, specifically with a view to offsetting the huge appearance fee going the Brazil way on June 7th.

Indeed, there are inherent benefits in playing Brazil, especially when one considers the international exposure for the players or global publicity for Tanzania. The match after all, is expected to be broadcast live in 160 countries.

Whether this is commensurate with the cost of bringing the famed Brazilian footballers to Dar es Salaam, is probably always going to be debatable.

But I just can't help but wonder whether the overly commercial approach by the Brazilian Football Confederation is the way to go in its sort of uniform and generalized manner.

Brazil's football team, in any case, is comprised of extremely wealthy individuals and the team is also getting valuable training, for all its worth. Must 'poor' countries be charged the same 'pricey' rate for the Samba delight?


Evelyn Watta said...

African football leaders are a big joke!!

Gachiri said...

Indeed, Evelyn it's a great pity selfish interests of football administrators and neglect of players' welfare are tolerated in the continent.