By their own admission, Dynamos Football Club said they acted “amateurish” while they were in Maseru, Lesotho for the second leg of the preliminary round of the 2013 African Champions League against Lesotho Correctional Services last week.
The Zimbabwe champions lost the match 1-0 in the beautiful mountain kingdom country, but still progressed on a 3-1 aggregate after winning 3-0 in Harare. They now meet Tunisian club Berzetin in the first round.
But the Harare giants left lasting negative impressions in Maseru after the whole team, except for vice-chairman Webster Chikengezha, missed their scheduled flight because they wanted to have lunch before leaving their hotel for Moshoeshoe 1 International Airport.
For an entire club like Dynamos to miss a flight because of food is more than humiliating. Several reasons were suggested as to why the team missed the flight. But the bottom line is that they missed a scheduled flight, something that is not expected of a professional outfit like Dynamos.
I have always believed that the way Dynamos is run is more or less the “Mafia” style. There is a lot of enigma, secrecy, plots and sub-plots in the way the club is administered. You have to be a strong character to be able to run this club. You have to run it the “Mbare” way to endear yourselves with the leadership, especially the Board of Directors who themselves are from Mbare.
The “Mbare” way means you should trace your roots to Mbare, behave like those in Mbare and run the club like you are in Mbare. I have no doubt in my mind that it was the “Mbare” way of doing things that resulted in the team missing their flight. Not that all people from Mbare do that, but that is the “Mbare” way, if you ask those who stay in Mbare. The suburb is associated with toughness, machismo and fearlessness.
But “Mbareism” must have its limits. Dynamos players and officials who travelled to Maseru were aware that travelling by air is not the same as going to Gokwe aboard a chicken bus. Flights operate on schedules unless it’s a chartered plane. Someone should have knocked sense into the contingent, but unfortunately no one did. In the end, the team had to cough out more on accommodation, meals and other amenities for the extra day — something that could have been avoided.
They should have arrived at the airport in Maseru in time for checking in and eventually board the plane back home without making noise about food. After all, they had eaten breakfast and their flight was scheduled for mid-morning. Imagine Real Madrid grabbing headlines worldwide that they missed their flight because of food!
As the biggest club in the country, everyone looks up to Dynamos and it is such seemingly small incidences that can damage a big brand. Authorities at the club must wake up and smell the coffee. While the club has its roots in Mbare, it has become an international brand, too big to be compromised by petty things like what happened in Lesotho.
There is need for people at Dynamos to move away from doing things the “ghetto” way and become more professional. That way, they will attract more sponsorship and earn respect. Heads must have rolled after this debacle.
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