I came under superfluous criticism from some people for my last Sunday’s article about Jimmy Gatete and his transfer to Ethiopian club St George for a reported $10.000. I was accused of writing negatively about the player and that my article was meant to ‘sabotage’ his move!
Those who had a way to talk to me physically did so while others used email messages to convey their displeasure about my ‘desire’ to deny Gatete his chance to play for the rich Addis Ababa based club.
One of the emails read as follows, “We thank you for the contribution rendered to our football players, but please when one like Gatete gets a chance you should congratulate him rather than criticism of the past performance! Remember Gatete gave us joy during his good time and I’m sure he will do better in next two years.”
I sent responses to some of the emailed messages and for the above (message), I told him to take time and read the story again, because nowhere in that article did I criticise Gatete.
What I said in the article was what I believe whoever takes trouble to follow Rwandan football already knew or knows.
The headline to that article (“You don’t know what to expect from Gatete”) said all that I went into details and I concluded saying, “However, on the sad side of his shock move, it came at a time when the national team authorities have closed the door on all the veteran players which means it’s a shame he may not play for his country again however well he does at the Addis Ababa based club.”
My article was about how Gatete has thrived on defying odds throughout his career, his ability to pull off a trick when least expected, I mentioned his shock move from Rayon Sport to Police (by the way, he almost joined AS Kigali) and again from Police to St George after just four months.
I didn’t lose sleep because of the improper messages I received for expressing my opinion on something I am well conversant with since, after working in our society for thus long, I’ve come to learn that some people don’t have room for any criticism, positive or negative.
There was nothing bad, wrong or untrue I said about Gatete last week. actually, if I remember very well, I said something like, at 28, Gatete still has something to offer or else St George, even with all their monies, would not spend $10.000 on a player they don’t value highly.
But that must have skipped the eyes of those who preferred to label me a ‘saboteur’ of the player’s plan! If only they knew the comradeship between myself and the legendary Rwandan international.
But after this latest episode of people complaining about my articles even before they understand them, I’ve come to realise that there’re people in our society who can’t or just don’t want to think beyond their noses and it’s very unfortunate because if only they had not read that article just between the lines, they would understand exactly what I was talking about.
Should age stand in way of ability?
When the football federation president Brig. Gen. Jean Bosco Kazura promised or should I say vowed to go youth as far as the national team is concerned after a disastrous 2010 World and Nations Cup qualifying campaign, not very many believed him but he has already put his words in action, or at least that’s what he tried to do.
But the big question is, should age be such a big issue even when in a situation when player A or B is doing well for his club but he can’t be called up on the national team just because he’s reached a certain age?
For instance what will happen if, lets say Gatete goes on to have an excellent season with St George or Olivier Karekezi decides to return home to play for APR and in doing so regains his past form that once made him a darling with the fans?
Will such players be ignored just because they’re nearly 30? You see, this one is real very tricky but like it’s said, let’s cross the bridge when we reach there.