By MICHAEL MIYOBA
ZAMBIA Sports Fans Association patron Peter Makembo has urged Zambian international striker Justin Shonga not to give up his blocked move to Europe by South African giants Orlando Pirates who blocked his move to Europe before dumping him at Tshakuma FC.
And Makembo has hailed government for pledging to support Chipolopolo coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic in his quest to redeem Zambia’s chances to qualify for the 2022 Camerron Africa Cup of Nations.
After he was unveiled as one of the new players at South African premiership side Tshakhuma FC, Shonga said Pirates blocked his move to Europe before dumping him at Tshakuma FC.
The former Nkwazi FC striker said his move to Tshakuma FC was planned by Orlando Pirates as he did not know anything about it until he was called into the Pirates office by the chairman Irvin Khoza.
“I think this move was already planned by Pirates because I didn’t even know I was coming this side because I already had other plans with my own agent,” Shonga told the media after being unveiled in Polokwane on Thursday.
“The plans I had, I wanted to leave South Africa and I wanted to go to Europe. Clubs were waiting for me but unfortunately Pirates never wanted to release me by that time.
“By the time Pirates released me, the window period was closed in Europe.”
However, Makembo urged Shonga to stay focused and work hard at his new club to gain the coach’s trust at national team level.
Makembo said the former Nkwazi striker is a talented young players who can redeem himself following the numerous challenges he faced at Orlando Pirates where he spent the 2019/2020 season without a goal as he was mostly on the bench. “Shonga should not be discouraged by the move from Pirates to the new team from Limpopo. Let him use the opportunity given to show that he can still be called for national team assignments because he is a Chipolopolo player,” Makembo said.
“The move may affect him psychologically but if he impresses at Tshakuma FC, European clubs will still come for him and he will be able to win back his position at the national team,” Makembo said.
Shonga, faced disciplinary action at Pirates before last season’s bio-bubble along with Thembinkosi Lorch after they were found guilty of breaching club protocols.
Meanwhile, Makembo has hailed President Edgar Lungu for supporting the growth of sports through the Ministry of Sports which ledged to assist Chipolopolo coach with everything he may need to prepare the team for the AFCON qualifiers against Botswana next month.
Makembo acknowledged that the Serbian needs everyone’s support including the fans to deliver positive results.
He reaffirmed his associations’ commitment to support the Chipolopolo during the crucial back to back AFCON qualifiers against Botswana set for next month.
By MICHAEL MIYOBA