OVIDY Karuru has finally been confirmed at South Africa Premier Soccer League side Kaizer Chiefs on a three-year deal, in a move that could mean the Soweto giants have failed to capture Knowledge Musona who was the team’s number one target.
As first reported by NewsDay Sport on July 22, the 25-year-old signed a pre-contract at the start of the month after impressing the Kaizer Chiefs technical bench during trials and was expected to be unveiled at a Press conference last week.
However, the announcement was delayed as the club, who had only one foreign slot open, were hoping they would be able to retain Musona.
But it appears Musona, who is currently in Germany with his parent club Hoffenheim, is out of reach for the South African club. They had hoped to recall him on loan for another season.
There is, however, another possibility for Chiefs. Our source who broke the Karuru deal, said even if the club manages to get Musona, they were still going to sign Karuru and loan him out to another club.
Chiefs announced Karuru’s deal on their Twitter handle yesterday afternoon.
“Kaizer Chiefs is pleased to announce the signing of Ovidy Karuru on a 3-year deal previously of OH Leuven, Belgium.”
Karuru left the country in 2009 to join French side Boulogne though he left them in 2012 after the club were relegated to join OH Leuven of Belgium.
At the Belgian club he had a fall-out with former head coach Ronny van Geneugden, and endured a difficult spell on the sidelines, but was reinstated to the starting XI by the two coaches that followed, first Herman Vermeulen, and now the current coach, Ivan Leko.
However, the Warriors midfielder decided against renewing his contract with the European club which expired at the end of last season.
At Chiefs, he will join up with his Warriors mates in Kingston Nkhata, Willard Katsande and Mathew Rusike.
The queuing-up of Zimbabwe’s best football talent for contracts in the South Africa Premier League, particularly the latest move by Karuru and the possible arrival of Musona, has left local football experts disappointed.
The move by Karuru and the impending Musona deal has let down one of the duo’ s biggest admirers and former Warriors coach Norman Mapeza, who believes the two still had bright futures in Europe.
“I have my own views about these two players’ moves, but at the end of the day it is what they want that counts and people see things differently,” Mapeza told our sister paper, the Zimbabwe Independent last week.
“I do not think that when you get a chance to go to Europe and you come from a country like Zimbabwe, where we do not qualify for major continental tournaments, you can afford to come back and play in South Africa hoping to go back to Europe one day.”
Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas, whose son Quincy, in Denmark, is one of the few Zimbabwean exports in Europe, described Karuru’s move as a drawback.
“If our best players are all going to play in South Africa, then we should not be surprised when we get knocked out by a team like Tanzania,” said Antipas.
“If both players are going to play their football in South Africa then it’s a drawback and it only shows that as a country we are not producing quality players anymore. I thought Knowledge could still play in Germany but if he is going to come back as well as Ovidy I think that is a major setback for our football. Our national team would struggle even more.”
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