Who knew that obtaining Samuel Eto'o's shirt would cost so much money?
The story begins here: Tanzania lost a hard-fought encounter against Cameroon 2-1 in recent World Cup qualifying. Tanzanian defender Nadir Haroub gave away his jersey to Cameroon star Samuel Eto'o after the game in Yaounde. It's tradition, you know?
The local media praised Haroub and said his performance was the reason Eto'o was keen to swap jerseys with him.
But the Tanzanian Football Federation (TFF) didn't see it that way. TFF bosses were clearly not amused by the gesture and told Haroub that part of his allowance would be used to replace the jersey.
The team's management insisted that Taifa Stars players were not allowed to give away jerseys as the federation could not afford a new set of jerseys for each match.
But following criticism from the media and fans alike, the TFF has backtracked and said the player would not be punished. The decision has been reversed ...
"It's obvious he couldn't say no to Eto'o," said TFF president Leodegar Tenga.
"It was a wise decision to give his jersey to such a famous player. This will make our country known," he added.A fund-raising drive was already underway with fans donating money to help Haroub meet the cost of replacing the jersey.
MY POV: Times are tough around the world these days. Even the simple football tradition of swapping shirts isn't exempt.