Footballers’ exodus to Eastern Europe

It is a good sign—analysts


Lured by overseas professional football, Malawi is on the verge of facing exodus of some of its blossoming players to Eastern Europe.

Whether it is a case of desperation for success or by design, some of the local players believe that everything that comes from outside the country is gold.

For now, Eastern Europe might look like a viable destination for the local players considering that Malawian players have struggled to secure deals with top European teams due to low rankings.


In Europe, players get huge sums of money but Malawian players have failed to get there for so long.

Since the closure of the 2019 season, a new frontier has opened up for several local players after they have been linked with deals to Eastern Europe.

The first player to move to Eastern Europe this year was talented former Be Forward Wanderers midfielder Fransico Madinga Junior when he joined Georgian club Dila Gori.


Ranked 91 on Fifa rankings, Georgia national football team is not a football heavyweight in the world. But it might be stepping stone for the young Madinga- player who was playing in the lower league with Namiwawa FC three years ago before joining Wanderers.

It is up to the youngster to step up the gear to remain relevant as football in other countries demand a lot on and off the pitch. Madinga was vital for the Lali Lubani outfit when they finished as runners-up in the TNM Super League in the just ended season.

National Coaches Association General Secretary, Davie Mpima believes it is a window of opportunity for the local players.

“It is a good indication that Malawian players are now marketable. Previously, it was not easy for the local players to get a chance to play in Europe so I think they will advance their football careers,” Mpima said.

“Nowadays, foreign teams are able to follow the players through videos. We have also received invitations of our players from overseas and we believe this is positive news for us,” Mpina said.

Another blossoming player, Nyasa Big Bullets defender Charles Petro is on month long-trials at Moldovan top side FC Sherrif Tiraspol. Moldova is ranked 175 in the world. Some of its famous players include Serghei Covalciuc, Vitalie Bordian and Stanislav Ivanov.

Former Silver Strikers and Masters Security FC coach, Abasi Makawa agrees with Mpima that the players would advance their careers.

“For a start, it is good for the country as well as the players. If we compare with our standards, Moldova and Georgia are ahead of us so the players will get exposed,” he added.

Striker Hassan Kajoke and defender Precious Sambani have been invited to attend trials at FC Rukh Lviv in Ukraine.

Ukraine, ranked 22 in the world, is a popular football nation and has produced several stars such as Andre Shevchenko. Some of the popular teams in Ukraine include Shaktar Donetsk and Dynamo Kyiv.

Bullets chief administration officer, Albert Chigoga, while keeping a tight lid on the details of the trials for the players, indicated that the deals were facilitated by one of the agents based outside the country.

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Transfer Matching System Manager, Casper Jangale believes technological advancement has helped to expose the players to teams from overseas.

“Teams from as far as Europe are able to follow our local league through different channels so we should thank technology as well. We should also expect more players to be spotted by foreign teams because video clips of the players are all over internet,” he added.

What is clear is that Eastern Europe remains an attractive prospective for the young players in Malawi and other African countries.

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