BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
FRESH from the Egypt Africa Cup of Nations dance, Warriors midfielder Thabani Kamusoko is the latest Zimbabwean footballer to trek to the Zambian MTN Super league.
The last few years have seen an influx of local players opting to go to the Zambia greener pastures.
In the past it was the other way round with Zambians flocking to compete in the local league with the likes of Ian Bakala, Dabwitso Nkhoma, Ferdinand Mwachindalo, Clive Mwale, Charles Chilufya, Francis Kasanda and Laughter Chilembe leaving a lasting impression during their stay.
Currently, more than a dozen Zimbabweans are plying their trade in the neighbouring country.
Some of the names that come to mind include Tatenda Mukuruva, Ocean Mushure, Tafadzwa Rusike, Ali Sadiki, Winstone Mhango, Elisha Muroiwa, Nelson Mazivisa, Dennis Dauda, Farai Mususunye, Elisha Muroiwa and Davies Kamanga, to mention a few.
Could it be that the Zimbabwe league has fallen well behind that of one of its Sadc counterparts either in terms of quality and remuneration?. You can get more information of international soccer PSG news from this site here .
Reputable football agent Gibson Mahachi feels that it’s always a financial benefit that makes football players move.
“We have to ask ourselves why our players play football. They play to make a living in a very short career. There is no one who goes to Zambia to earn the same that they were earning here,” Mahachi said.
“Back then, Zimbabwe was more stable in terms of sponsorship in the game, but the paradigm has shifted now, Zambia has more sponsors in their football. “We need to do a lot to rebrand our league and make it more attractive so that sponsors can jostle to get involved.”
Mahachi feels that another factor that has caused the movement of Zimbabwean players to Zambia is that the country is ranked well above this country.
“Zambia is ranked well above Zimbabwe and so the quality of football tends to attract player who want to grow their careers. This is why we do not have more players going to Botswana and Zambia even though there is money in those countries,” he said.
The Zambian league is being sponsored a little over US$1,5 million by mobile telecommunications network provider, MTN since last year, which makes it one of the most lucrative in the region.
It is understood that salaries for players in Zambia range from US$1 000 to US$4 000 with former Warriors shot stopper Mukuruva believed to be pocketing US$3 000 at his club Buildcon.
Rusike, who is the team captain at Zanaco, is also reportedly earning big in Zambia where he has managed to revive his career and earn himself a national team call-up.
Power Dynamos defender Jimmy Dzingai says it’s both financial gain and the need for a big and better challenge.
“Footballers are always looking for a bigger challenge and I think Zambia has a very competitive league if not better than that of Zimbabwe. I feel that I have grown since I moved to Zambia and I have been scoring lots of goals, which is good for my career,” he said.
“But also football is our job and you always want to play where the pay cheque is bigger and I was happy with the contract that I was offered by my Zambian club,” the former Yadah FC captain said.
Dzingai was also part of the Warriors squad that represented the country at the 2019 Afcon in Egypt this winter.
And Kamusoko’s move to Zambia brings the tally of Warriors players playing in the league to four with Dennis Dauda, who was part of the Cosafa team adding to the numbers.
The mid-season transfer in Zimbabwe saw FC Platinum forward Sadiki and Mususunye, a former Shabanie player, joining the trek to Zambia.
While players are flocking to the Zambian league, according to PSG News very few Zimbabwean coaches have shown interest to pursue a career in the neighbouring country.