Malajila career in Iimbo


A month after fleeing the civil war in Libya, footballer Cuthbert Malajila’s career is still in limbo.

Malajila, the former Chapungu, Highlanders and Dynamos striker, was on a six-month loan to Al Akhdar in the Libyan top-flight league from Tunisian side Club Africain where he has a three-year contract signed last August.

The loan deal with Al Akhdar expires on June 30 and between now and the expiry, he has to be content with training with Dynamos, unless there is a dramatic improvement in the situation in the North African country and the league resumes.

Malajila’s manager Gibson Mahachi said the player “just has to wait and see”.

“Basically, there is nothing that can be done now as the situation in Libya remains the same. He is contracted to Club Africain and between now and June 30 when the Libya loan deal expires, he can only wait and see.

“It is the people in Libya who will inform us of the situation and if it’s safe for him to return. They are always in touch with us. But if nothing happens and the loan deal expires, he automatically reverts to being a Club Africain player,” Mahachi said.

Malajila arrived in the country at the beginning of March after three strife-torn weeks following an uprising against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

After successfully negotiating his way by road to Cairo, Egypt he connected to Johannesburg, South Africa and finally Harare.

He was then called for Warriors duty for a 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Mali in Bamako on March 26.

There had been hopes that he could get a two- month deal with Dynamos as Fifa rules and regulations allow him to be registered to play as a free agent because of a clause called force majeure, situations that are not normal and cannot be controlled.

Last month, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) cancelled the Under-17 championships that were due to be held in Libya because of civil war, while the same country and Ivory Coast had to play their Afcon qualifiers on foreign soil.

Speaking after signing his deal in Libya, Malajila said: “I joined the Libyan team on a six-month loan deal because I was not getting enough game time this season. I have been used as a substitute for just about 20 minutes per game and I feel I’m wasting my time.

“Al Akhdar wanted a permanent move like Maritzburg in SA, but were turned down by my club, so in June I will be back in Tunisia.”

Malajila, the top scorer during the 2009 Cosafa Senior Challenge, has struggled with his international career having had unsuccessful trials with Cercle Brugge of Belgium and a number of South African clubs.