Former Zimbabwean international player, Thomas Sweswe, says the country’s ban from international football is taking it’s toll on players.
Football’s world governing body, FIFA, suspended Zimbabwe’s football association last year due to government interference.
The ban also meant that Zimbabwe, who were in the same Africa Nations Cup qualifiers group, were kicked out of the tournament.
“We have many good players in Zimbabwe who want to play outside and this FIFA ban is taking it’s toll on them,” the former Kaizer Chiefs player tells Touchline News.
We are not being recognised because of this suspension and our players are being disadvantaged.
We are just coming out of Covid 19 and this suspension is pushing many of our players into drugs and to do other things that are not right.
“The current generation of players coming up is being disadvantaged and they are asking themselves: why should we play football? They are only playing local football and no one will notice them. It’s the players who are suffering.
“We are praying that this matter is resolved quickly so that we can re-join the FIFA family and international football so that our players can be seen outside.”
Over the last three decades Zimbabwe football has exported many players into South Africa football from the Mugeyi twins – Wilfred and William – Peter Ndlovu, Sweswe, Tinashe Nengomasha, Khama Billiat, Knowledge Musona, who was spotted playing in the Cosafa Under-20 and many others.
“A lot of agents use to take advantage of Cosafa – when Zimbabwe played Cosafa played local players. Knowledge Musona was also spotted in the Cosafa. Imagine now there is no Cosafa Under-20, no Under-23 and no senior team nothing. It’s painful,” adds Sweswe.
“As legends we talk to the boys trying to encourage them to stay positive. We are fighting from our side so that everything can be back to normal. We want to break that deadlock and get back to international football.”
By Zola Doda