Football Association of Malawi’s interest to acquire a citizenship for Nigerian striker Babatunde Adepoju has drawn mixed reaction with the majority pouring cold water on the move.
The player started with defunct Masters Security and then joined Mighty Wanderers before making a dramatic switch to Nyasa Big Bullets last season.
Renowned lawyer and former Mighty Wanderers general secretary David Kanyenda said it was ridiculous for the Malawi FA to pursue the Nigerian at the expense of grooming local players.
Reads a post on his Facebook Page: “I totally oppose the idea of naturalization of foreigners for purposes of playing for Flames. It’s a big NO for me! I want to win with Malawian players who have at least a biological connection with the country.
“I would rather lose with Malawian players than win with foreigners masquerading as locals. I don’t want Babatunde anywhere near my Flames. Spare us that indignity please. Of course the FA should not even be approaching Baba at all.
“It’s an indictment of their youth development structures more like they are admitting failure to groom local talent. And even upon being approached Baba cannot turn down Flames offer after all he’s a fortune seeker.”
He said would not turn down the offer to play for Malawi because he has no chance to play for his mother country Nigeria.
“Better select and groom Zebron Kalima or Lanjesi Nkhoma or other youthful locals or pursue the likes of Ngwenya who have direct and clear Malawian roots. We should never encourage the FA to take shortcuts by undermining local talent. If they want taller players then let the development structures scout for players with such physical qualities,” said Kanyenda.
Former Flames prolific striker Esau Kanyenda also said FAM should develop youngsters rather than vying for naturalised citizens.
Commenting on the same, an analyst Gersom Elson Mpika also questioned the move, saying: “For the fact that our FA denied Khama Biliat former Zimbabwe players to play for Flames who was half Malawian, then why should we allow someone who 100 percent- non Malawi.”