Football Sport

Let’s move on!

Soccer Review with STEPHEN PHIRI
THERE is talk on the streets, in bars and, I guess, even in churches about one extraordinary talent – Charly Musonda Junior.
I have followed the youngster’s talent for over a year now and I must say he is exceptionally gifted and could soon be talked about in the same breath as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Luis Suarez and many such lavishly-endowed players.
Of course these are almost super humans and are immortalised everywhere. Well, I can assure you that Charly, the boy on loan at Real Betis in Spain from Chelsea in England, is potentially on his way to achieving those great heights.
But the debate now is not so much about his skills but whether he can play for Zambia as both his parents hail from the mining town of Mufulira.
They are now domiciled in Belgium where Charly Senior played for Anderlecht before a nagging knee injury forced him out quite early.
Knowing that Charly Junior is a Zambian by descent, national team coach George Lwandamina attempted to invite him to play for the Chipolopolo but there was an instant rebuttal from the boy’s mother.
She went on the offensive against people who were inquiring about the possibility of the boy playing for Zambia. She called it harassment and all that kind of vitriolic language. I am sure social media freaks saw the message for themselves.
She actually told the world that Charly Junior had a Belgian and English passport and that those two countries were cool about the boy.
Well, I do not agree with Lwandamina inviting the young man through the media, much as I do not think an invitation should provoke such a reaction from our dear sister in Belgium.
If the Football Association of Zambia or the coach wants to invite a player, they should follow procedure. Ordinarily, everyone would want to play for their country but we have implicitly been told that the young man is not Zambian – he has no Zambian passport!
Had FAZ inquired, they would have been told that he is Belgian, period!
For now, let’s just enjoy the young man’s skills and forget about him donning our national colours which his father so proudly did.
Let’s move on; let’s intensify our search for talent and I am sure there must be plenty out there in Luapula along the Pedicle Road or indeed in Shangombo on the border with Angola.
I have told the football authorities that we need to nurture talent or we risk being called haters for inquiring about the availability of a player.
Football is not so much about individual brilliance; it’s a team sport. Messi, for instance, has not won the World Cup with Argentina despite being the best player to have graced the game on the planet.
But when he combines his brilliance with Neymar (Brazilian), Suarez (Uruguayan), Andres Iniesta (Spaniard) and many other stars, he shines brighter.
Ladies and gentlemen, let’s move on as it is possible to win anything with the talent we have just as we won the 2012 Africa Cup.
Happy women’s day!

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