Home Sports ZIFA Presidential aspirant Bunjira encourages foreign-based players to come home

ZIFA Presidential aspirant Bunjira encourages foreign-based players to come home

Tristan Ryan Nydam

ZIFA Presidential aspirant Bunjira encourages foreign-based players to come home. The former CAPS United and Mamelodi Sundowns striker told Pindula News that it has always been his ambition and passion “to see every good footballer with a Zimbabwean connection being given a fair chance to represent the country, and thereby having the best national team possible for Zimbabwe.”

Former Warriors star, Alois Bunjira, has amplified the call for foreign-based footballers eligible to play for Zimbabwe to “come home” with Arsenal forward Reiss Nelson being his latest target.

The ZIFA presidential aspirant also said both local and foreign-based players deserve a fair chance adding that the players in Diaspora “are still very much Zimbabwean and we should do a lot more to try and integrate them into our system. It is all good for Zimbabwe football and sports tourism.”

Bunjira confirmed that he is still “very much interested in the ZIFA post.” Speaking on what he intends to do to transform national football, the football analyst said:

There is so much that can be done for Zimbabwe football locally and internationally that is not being done currently and Zimbabwe football is staying stuck or moving backwards. The only way to effect the positive changes and make sure our football grows is by getting in and effect the changes from inside.

We have so much potential to be African powerhouse and for our football to be a big industry in the country, but we are not pressing the correct buttons. We need to change things and move football forward Football should be a big industry of glitz and glamour. We need to get that.

Reiss Nelson
Reiss Nelson

In 5 years after my election, there will be rapid change. The aim is to have football retain its glamour and have proper professional structures that encourage parents to believe their children can have a future and life in football. We can have football as big as in South Africa in 5 to 10 years time.

He added that every Zimbabwean has a role to play in encouraging the players who are eligible to play for Zimbabwe to “come home.” He said:

Locally, Zimbabweans should embrace the young footballers in Diaspora and not feel threatened. After all, they are our real cousins and relatives. I am not sure why Zimbabwe became polarised between local and Diaspora. It actually feels like a war. It should not be like that. My son is in England right now.

That doesn’t mean he is now less Zimbabwean. We should be united as Zimbabweans and even sharing ideas. I think locally we need to up our game to rise to the same development level as know Diaspora and be secure.

The diaspora community should not throw away their roots. They should cultivate the love for Zimbabwe and culture into their children as they are growing up. They should encourage them to love and want to represent Zimbabwe. It is not all about money, like many believe. Playing for one’s country is the greatest honour. Money is made at club level

Bunjira said Reiss is just a continuation of the calls he and other stakeholders have been making since years back. He narrated:

There was a time we made so much noise about Galloway. We did the same with Bradley Pritchard. I am sure you missed the time we made the call for Bonne to get his papers. I have been in touch directly with (Ipswich Town midfielder) Tristan Ryan Nydam and his father. I spoke to (Bournemouth defender) Jordan Zemura directly before he got here.

Tristan Ryan Nydam
Tristan Ryan Nydam

I spoke to his mum. I speak to a lot of parents with Zimbabwean young footballers in the diaspora. I know young Zimbabwean boys in Europe, America and Aussie. I have travelled around the country watching junior tournaments. It is a matter of time chete before everything comes together.

It is all about passion for the game and wanting to see Zimbabwe succeed. So yeah…it is not just about Reiss. It is only that, for now, Reiss ndiye arikupisa. We still need young boys like Tivonge Rushesha and Young Mutatu in the USA. We are rich in talent.

My message to them is that the second republic in football is coming soon and let us come together and make Zimbabwe great again. They don’t have to wait and see a great Zimbabwe first. They can be the ones to come and make Zimbabwe great Come and let’s qualify for the World Cup together.

Bunjira added that although hosting the World Cup is out of the equation, foreis now, Zimbabwe can qualify for the World Cup before 2030.

Source – Pindula News

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