Hats off to Sharif Mussa

HARARE - Sharif Mussa’s decision to quit as the manager of the Zimbabwe senior national football team is a very big blow to the country’s most loved sport.

Mussa was a dedicated professional who selflessly discharged his services for the benefit of the national game often with very minimal appreciation from the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa).

Our poorly-funded senior men’s football team, which hardly paid for his services, also benefitted from Mussa’s ability to fluently speak as many as nine languages. Whenever the national football team did duty in many corners of the continent, it was Mussa who routinely did translation services at no pay.

Those who have had the privilege of seeing him in action for the Zimbabwe senior men’s football team will tell you how he regularly dug into his own pocket to assist players, coaches and supporters on many poorly-funded missions into Africa.

Early last year, Mussa went to Rwanda before the start of the last Africa Nations Championship using his own resources to gather logistical information for the national football team, demonstrating for the umpteenth time his selflessness.

Despite the never-ending financial problems which rocked the national football team, Mussa remained passionate and committed to helping the national game.

Sadly, despite this selfless service to football, Mussa, clearly the best manager Zimbabwe national football has ever had, never got the appreciation he deserved from both Zifa and the country at large.

Though the humble Mussa won’t admit it, the fact that he chose to walk away from the national game a day after the end of national football coach Kalisto Pasuwa’s 20-month reign, paints a picture of a man not exactly confident about the future of our football.

If the situation at the national team was better than it is at the moment, we are convinced Mussa would not have turned his back on the national team this abruptly. If the powers that be at Zifa put their house in order, we are confident the likable Mussa could easily be persuaded to return to the game.

But even if the outgoing national football team manager refuses to make a comeback, Zifa must find ways to tap into his knowledge. We cannot afford to let a man who has selflessly contributed to the national team walk away just like that.

Another way to accommodate the vastly experienced Mussa could be to encourage him to take part in the next Zifa elections set for 2018. The inclusion of Mussa in the Zifa board would be very beneficial to Zimbabwean football.

Comments (1)

I totally agree with you. Mussa has done a tremendous job for our football especially the national team as manager. He has on countless times used his own resources for furthering the development and success of the national team. A manager liked by all players and the majority of supporters. I hope one day Mussa will come back in another role in Zifa or as manager again if Zifa really appreciates what he has done for our football.

Dunga - 7 March 2017

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