By Jafferson Ndhlovu,
There has been some trailblazing talk on social media in the recent weeks about English Premiership side Chelsea FC starlet Charles Musonda Junior and the need for him to dress up in the Zambia national tean colours
This name is synonymous with Zambian legend Charles “Charly Cool” Musonda. A former international and one player that mesmerised the Belgium and Zambian football midfield scenarios. Musonda had a stint with Mufulira Wanderers in Zambia before moving to Belgium to join then one the top European giants Anderlect FC in the mid 1980s.
But the story is about his son, Charles Musonda Junior.
The authorities in Zambia especially Football Association of Zambia have been crucified for not taking a leading role in trying to persuade the youngster to come and play for Chipolopolo. But should it be a FAZ responsibility alone to do so? It’s a question that requires some surgery
There are cardinal points that many people have myopically and by choice decided to ignore. Having a player being included in team is a combination of factors that need to be fulfilled especially that of representing a national team.
Eligibility: for anyone to play for a national team especially the senior national team. A player must satisfy the immigration status of that country he or she intends to represent. And those requirement need to be in tandem with the acceptability by world football governing body Fifa.
Coaches Game Plan: the coach of the team has to want to play that particular player. Otherwise it will a conflict of interest.
Player’s Eagerness: every player requested to participate in the team needs to be in a position to want to play for the team.
The three are primary circas that come with Musonda Junior. Does he tick all the three basic boxes. There could be more reasons but these in the writer humble opinion are the key ones.
Until a few weeks ago, the issue of dou citizenship was somewhat none existence in Zambia and therefore, it would have meant Musonda Jr to renounce his Belgium citizenship, his country of birth.
We all know he qualifies to be Zambian by decent. That is a no brainer. But how convinced are we that he would have done that. Of course this is debatable but its a topic outside this context.
Does the coach want the player. Yes the boy has had excellent rev reviews on his prowess in recent times. Done well on his loan in Spain for Real Betis in rubbing shoulders with the Lionel Messis of this world on the field of play. But that is not enough to the Zambian coach make a call upon him.
Its one thing to shine elsewhere and its another to shine with the Zambian team. And sure those that have succeeded or failed can attest to that. The coach needs his autonomy to choose his team and imposition of players can backfire in the face of all.
Does the youngster want to play for Zambia. Reports in the media indicated that Musonda Jr, snubbed a call up to join the Belgium national team.
Obviously that means he is weighing his options. Just one match even a cameo role in the Belgium setup in a Fifa recognised match practically blocks his future plans to play for any other country rather than Belgium.
Good call if you ask this writer. Belgium is a star studded side. And most of those players are first team guaranteed players at their parent clubs.
Therefore to be outshone by Musonda Jr is almost impossible. Maybe his snub means he wants to play for England or USA or DRC or Zimbabwe in future not necessarily Zambia. Another topic for another day. These things are not cast in stone.
Zambian government has recently almost relaxed the rules pertaining to dou citizenship and it would be nice to learn that the youngster has a passport from his country of parents origin. Whether he chooses to play for Zambia or not soon but it puts him in a good stead. If he decides to one day wear the Chipolopolo shirts he won’t have to struggle to start fast tracking to obtain his Zambian legal status paperwork.
In the meantime Charly Musonda Jr’s chance to line up for Zambia remains a mystery. Its not a one dimension story. Examples have been made about an array top African players that have been persuaded to represent national teams in Africa.
Make no mistake quite many have first preference of wanting to play for their European countries and Africa becomes secondary after realising that chances are slim.
South American players have been exceptional in choosing to play for their countries of decent. Except for a few like recently Chelsea reject Diego Costa who was born in Brazil but opted to play for Spain.
Would really love to see Charles Musonda play for Zambia soon enough. It would be a big chance to be fused in now. Especially that there is this hope that a new crop of national team stars are getting to revealed. Soon enough more and more youngsters will start taking up battles for Zambia.