EXCLUSIVE: Praise for SA league after record AFCON qualifications

Khama Billiat

Zimbabwe and Kaizer Chiefs ace midfielder Khama Billiat

by SAVIOUS KWINIKA 
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) SOUTH Africa’s Absa Premiership is not only the most lucrative league in the continent but will be

Baroka FC and Tanzanian defender Abdi Banda

Baroka FC and Tanzanian defender Abdi Banda

the most represented in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Egypt in June/July.

African fans have heaped praise on the league for its competitiveness and helping their

Arohasina Andrianarimanana

Madagascar and Kaizer Chiefs striker Arohasina Andrianarimanana

respective countries qualify for the continent’s prime football tournament.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is the most grateful after a record seven teams, including

Jean Munganga

On the left is DRC and Black Leopards player Jean Munganga

South Africa, qualified.

Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Madagascar, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe will also represent the regional bloc.

Clever Chisamba from Zimbabwe, who lives in Sunninghill, north

Peter Shalulile of Namibia challenged by Lehlogonolo Masalesa of South Africa during 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup match between South Africa and Namibia at Moruleng Stadium in Rustenburg on 07 July 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Namibian and Highlands Park’s deadly striker Peter Shalulile 

of Johannesburg, said Zimbabwe’s Warriors owed its qualification to the Absa Premiership.

“The bulk of our national team players ply their trade here in the South African league. Credit must go to the Absa Premiership,” he said.

Richard Ofori

Ghana and Maritzburg United goalkeeper Richard Ofori

Zimbabwe sealed qualification with a 2-0 victory over Congo courtesy of goals by Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs) and Knowledge Musona (formerly Chiefs).

Other stars in the team include Ovidy Karuru (AmaZulu),

Brian Onyango

Kenya and Maritzburg player Brian Onyango

Butholezwe Ncube and Talent Chawapiwa (both AmaZulu), Terrence Dzvukamanja (Bidvest Wits), Ronald Pfumbidzai (Bloemfontein Celtic), Divine Lunga, Danny Phiri and Knox Mutizwa (all Golden

James Okwuosa

Nigeria and Chippa United defender James Okwuosa

Arrows), Teenage Hadebe (Chiefs), Marshall Munetsi and Kudakwashe Mahachi (both Orlando Pirates), George Chigova
(Polokwane City) and Evans Rusike (SuperSport United).

DRC’s Franco Ipupa,

Denis Onyango

Uganda and Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango

who lives in Rosebank, hailed the presence of many SADC teams at AFCON.

“It has been possible because of South Africa’s Premiership. While most of DRC’s players are locally and France based, we have some in the Absa Premiership,” Ipupa said.

Namibian Helalia Herunga who lives in Hyde Park, Johannesburg concurred.

“I can’t wait to watch our national team in Egypt. Our qualification was possible because of the bulk of our players based in South Africa,” he said.

Tanzania’s Samuel Nyambui said, “We made it to the Afcon because South Africa’s competitive league absorbs players from SADC member states. Thank you South Africa.”

Tanzanians Abdi Banda (Baroka) and Eliud Ambokile (Black Leopards) ply their trade in South Africa.

Other South African-based players set to feature in the AFCON for their SADC teams include DRC’s Jean Munganga (Black Leopards), Madagascar’s Arohasina Andrianarimanana (Chiefs) whilst Namibia boasts six players comprising Gebhardt Ananias (Baroka), Chris Katjiukua (Leopards), Maximilian Mbaeva (Golden Arrows), Denzil Haoseb (Highlands Park) and Peter Shalulile (both Highlands Park) and Virgil Vries (Chiefs).

AFCON representatives from non-SADC nations include Benin’s Christophe Aïfimi (Leopards), Burundi’s Frédéric Nsabiyumva and Guinea’s Bangali Keïta (both Chippa United), Ghana’s Nana Akosah-Bempah (Cape Town City), Razak Brimah (Mamelodi Sundowns), Richard Ofori (Maritzburg United), Mohammed Anas (Polokwane) and Richard Boateng (SuperSport United).

Others are Kenya’s Brian Onyango (Maritzburg) while Ivory Coast has Kouassi Kouadja (Cape Town City) and Badra Ali Sangaré (Free State Stars).

Nigeria has James Okwuosa (Chippa) and Daniel Akpeyi (Chiefs) while Uganda supplied the likes of Martin Kizza (Free State Stars), Denis Onyango (Sundowns) and Allan Kateregga (Maritzburg).

– CAJ News

Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=30086

Posted by on Mar 29 2019. Filed under Africa & World, Exclusive, Featured, Football, News, Regional, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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