Zim players in SA under threat


Zimbabwean soccer players’ mass exodus to South Africa could be stopped this season if the South African Football Association (Safa) follows up on recommendations made by former coach Carlos Alberto Parreira.
As of yesterday, Zimbabwe had 17 players in the top flight and more than 10 in the National First Division league.
The Brazilian coach has recommended a cut on the number of foreigners in the Premier League if South Africa is to give its local talent a chance.
Parreira, the 1994 Fifa World Cup winner and 2006 quarterfinalist with his native Brazil, recently failed to take the South African national team beyond the first round of the same competition and blamed it on the big number of foreigners plying their trade in the South African league.
“Youngsters are the way forward, and it would be a good idea to invest in this and I have put in my report that it might be a good idea to consider reducing the number of foreign players at clubs,” he said.
“There are a lot of foreigners here; five at each club, and if South Africa wants to stand out, then maybe it would be better to have a maximum of two only. The PSL is very strong and well-organised and there’s money there, but it doesn’t help that there are no youth leagues.
“You can’t make progress without them. Youngsters are the way forward, and it would be a good idea to invest in this. In Brazil we have a talent factory that runs 24 hours a day, shift after shift, and that’s our greatest strength,” Parreira was quoted as saying in the South African media yesterday.
CAPS United have been in the forefront of exporting players with Method Mwanjali, Nyasha Mushekwi and Lionel Mtizwa moving to Mamelodi Sundowns who also have Zimbabwe international Esrom Nyandoro on their books.
Sundowns have two Nigerians undergoing trials —Ezenwa Otorogu and Ajibade Omolade, meaning competition for the five players for the foreign quota will be tough unless Nyandoro gains permanent residence.
Caps United’s Oscar Machapa has joined Moroka Swallows while Khama Billiart and Tafadzwa Rusike are at Ajax Cape Town, together with Archieford Gutu, who is on trial with champions SuperSport United.
There are also reports that three more players from Caps United could be for South Africa.
Kaizer Chiefs have four Zimbabweans on their books—Zhaimu Jambo, Thomas Sweswe, Knowledge Musona and want-away midfielder Tinashe Nengomasha, who could be replaced by Malawian David Banda if he quits.
Yesterday, Orlando Pirates boss Irvin Khoza introduced three local players into his side and said he would be releasing more players next week, putting Zimbabwe defender Zvenyika Makonese’s future in doubt.
Platinum Stars have goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini, while Sunday Chidzambwa’s Free State Stars have Kingston Nkatha and James Matola while Dynamos striker Cuthbert Malajila is rumoured to be on his way there.
Bidvest Wits released Evans Chikwaikwai to Liga Muculmana in Mozambique and are left with goalkeeper Energy Murambadoro.