Botswana, New home for Zim footballers?

Nqobizitha Masuku

Following the Fifa ban, Zimbabwean footballers’ opportunities to play abroad have been lessened hence

Botswana has become a new home for many of them.

The league in Botswana has Zimbabwean players such as former Highlanders duo Daniel Msendami and former vice captain, Nqobizitha Masuku,who play for recently crowned league champions, Jwaneng Galaxy.

Nigel Mlauzi, Kelvin Ndebele and Brendon Chinyani play for Nico United and Mbonisi Ncube plays for BDF XI Sporting Club.

Former Bulawayo City strikers Jacob Mloyi and Rodi Sibanda, who also played for Highlanders, now play for Masitaoka, a team coached by former Highlanders coach Mandla Mpofu.

Former Emakhandeni Pirates midfielder Mcebisi Moyo, alongside striker Dominic Chungwa turned out for Sua Flamingoes, which was formerly coached by Zimbabwean Rahman Gumbo

The FIFA ban on Zimbabwe’s national teams also affects clubs as they cannot participate in inter-club competitions such as the CAF Champions League and the CAF Confederations Cup.

The Botswana league therefore presents better opportunities for Zimbabwean players who wish to play football overseas as they can get exposure from playing continental football.

Former Chicken Inn players like Elvis Chipezeze, Michelle Katsvairo and Edmore Chirambadare were scouted by South African sides playing CAF Champions League at preliminary round level.

Msendami whose team has automatically qualified for the Champions League in summer, has been presented with an opportunity for exposure at a continental or international stage.

Nico United Attacker, Nigel Mlauzi spoke of how much the ban is affecting local players.

“Everyone wants to play rewarding football which is playing continental football or being able to represent your country. This exposes one to opportunities of being identified by big teams.

Zimbabwean players will continue to join Botswana teams as they seek greener pastures and exposure as long as the Fifa ban is not lifted ,” said Mlauzi who is on loan from Highlanders.

When the transfer window opens, many more Zimbabwean players are likely to move to Botswana.


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