Descent Dube, Sports Reporter
LOCAL football players are generally reluctant to speak to the media largely due to their clubs’ failure to groom and give them the green light to speak.
After performing on the field, an athlete’s obligation off the field should be to avoid any situation that affects his or her performance and that includes social media distraction.
Zimbabwean Premiership teams have a long held culture of barring their players from speaking to the media and this tends to have negative implications when they move to leagues abroad.
One recent fascinating example was when former Chicken Inn and Golden Arrows left-back Divine Lunga appeared confused when being interviewed by Supersport TV following his man-of-the-match performance in their goalless draw against Orlando Pirates on Wednesday night.
Lunga stammered during most of the interview and had an unforgettable moment when he said: “I don’t know, I don’t know what to say,” much to the dismay of the interviewer.
The defender showed clear signs that the occasion was new to him and he was not in a position or confident enough to face the media.
Some players are shy by nature and uncomfortable during interviews hence the need for clubs to teach them.
Lunga was man-of-the-match and obviously he had to talk to the media.
Fans want to know about their teams so listening to their favourite players talking or reading articles in which they’re quoted is what they enjoy.
For example, Orlando Pirates groom their players for media interviews and as such they never struggle when pulled for a chat straight after a game.
For how long will Zimbabwean fans continue to hear or read about all aspects of the game from coaches when the main actors, the players, are forbidden from talking about their experience on the field?