When word came around that Manchester City had acquired the services of the Kenyan Midfielder Mcdonald Mariga, football fans in the country went wild with celebration.? Mariga himself talked to Radio Jambo confirming that he had undergone medical test at Eastlands and he was just waiting for the work permit.? The love for Premier League in Kenya is unparalleled and almost fanatical. This was shown clearly when a fan in Nairobi committed suicide last year after Arsenal lost to Manchester United in Semifinal of Champions League. To bring it closer, not many watched Ghana vs Egypt on Sunday because incidentally that match was being played at the same time when Arsenal was playing Manchester United on a premier League match.
I really don?t get it, so if your country is ranked below 70 in the Fifa ranking then you are not good enough to play in the Premier League. In this case the talent of a footballer is judged not on the basis of what a player can do on the field but on what the entire nation can do. It sounds to me like archaic rule based assumption that lowly ranked countries by FIFA cannot produce talented players. If that is the case then where did George Weah come from?? Majority of his playing days, Liberia was not even able to produce a team worth talking about. But that did not prevent him from conquering all, becoming the only African player to ever win FIFA world player of the year.? Repeat FIFA Player of the year?.yes FIFA
So what it is with FIFA ranking? ?Is it a real measure of what a team can do or are we talking of mathematical waste of time here ? The current FIFA ranking rewards nations for playing more high profile friendlies against highly rated teams on FIFA blackout dates. It can only means one thing, European nations which are ?financially and geographically? more capable of arranging? such friendlies have advantage over other nations in particular in Africa , East Asia and COCACAF regions.
A country like Kenya with its current ranking position is in impossible position to get high profile encounter with let say Netherland or England. In most cases Kenya will end up playing other low lifes according to FIFA know it all stupid ranking . So there is no chance at all to rise when you are down there.
Back to Mariga, anybody who has watched him plays? knows that he is a great player. It Is not only about his energy in controlling the midfield, ?the guy is very talented. If there is going to be any player in the mould of Michael Essien, Mariga is the guy. A real box to box Midfielder with unrelenting drive and energy
Mariga has been a regular for Kenya ?for the international matches, and has been capped 24 times. In that alone he met the criteria? for appearing in 75% of internationals in the last two years. ?So why not just give him the damn work permit?? Manchester City boss Roberter Mancini know one or two things about Mariga owing to the fact that he is from Italy where Mariga is currently based.
Mariga’s failure to join the richest club in the world was greeted with outrage back in Kenya, some Kenyans accused Britons for still having colonial mentality while others believed that it was outright discrimination by the British Government.
Before I sign off I have to say that there is always good news at the end of the tunnel, a shining talent will never be stopped and the news coming out this morning is that Mariga has signed for Inter Milan. In Jose Muarinho Mariga has got a great coach to work under . May be this will work out better for him, could even be better than if he had gone to England. Good luck