By Barnabas Zulu
IN THE last few days, we have been treated to interesting football news in terms of transfers happening between clubs in the Super league.
With the January transfer window opening yesterday, we are likely to receive some interesting news, especially among clubs that will be participating in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) competitions.
Zambia has fielded four teams in the continental competitions in the name of Zesco and Zanaco, who will play in the CAF Champions league, and Nkana and Buffaloes, who will battle it out in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Zanaco has already announced its 30-member squad, with some of the latest signings making a final cut.
However, it has now become a tradition for Zambian clubs to always look beyond the borders in search of new talents.
The influx of foreign players joining the Zambian league in the last few years has increased tremendously.
In the past, our clubs only used to attract players from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo but this has since changed.
Zambian clubs are now able to lure players from as far as Nigeria, which many years ago would have been difficult to do so.
But now the paradigm has shifted, it is a dream of every African player, to at least play in the lucrative Zambian league.
However, for us to understand why our league has become so attractive, it is imperative that we try to analyze some of the factors that have contributed to this new development.
The Zambian league is one of the highly organized leagues on the continent.
The way our league is run, it clearly shows that it has matured from being a feeder one into a semi-professional.
And from my perspective, the de-linking process, which is currently underway, will further elevate the standards of our league to the level of North African leagues.
I know some would argue that the South African league is more organized than ours.
Yes, I would agree, in terms of the huge chunks of bonuses players are given, but not football standards.
And moreover, we have seen a situation where top class African players have rejected offers from the same ABSA Premiership clubs in preference of Zambian clubs.
The commitment of Zambian corporate entities towards football is another major milestone achievement that cannot be divorced from the current trends.
Companies like Zesco, Zanaco, Buildcon Construction, Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC), NAPSA and many other entities have pumped in so much money in sponsoring clubs.
Most of our players now prefer playing locally than abroad because the salaries are more tempting than the pleasure of staying overseas.
These companies listed should be emulated by other entities, who would want to see further development in football.
Also the coming in of South Africa’s Super Sport has added more flavor to our league than ever before.
Most of us, we enjoy watching our local Zambian football contents on Bola Yapa Zed.
In addition, the government through the Ministry of Sports has been supportive towards developing soccer in the country.
We have seen time and again, political will coming into play at some of the local league matches.
The Ministry of Sports should be commended for playing its role properly in ensuring that football and sports at large are developed.
In my ending remarks, it is my desire to see the Zambian league grow rapidly and compete favorably with some of the top class leagues in the African continent if not the world.