BY PETER KANJERE:
The press in Sweden has suggested that Malawi women’s football star Tabitha Chawinga’s recent transfer from Kvarnsveden to Chinese Women’s Super League side, Jiangsu Sunning, is the highest ever in the Scandinavian country’s women’s football history.
Online media outlets, quoting Kvarnsveden Chairperson, Olle Davidsson, pegged Chawinga’s transfer fee at K124 million (1.5 million Swedish Krona (SEK), which is $170,933.97 since 1 SEK=$0.113956.
“For women’s football, this is very good money. This is the largest amount we have heard in Sweden, so question is: has anyone received more?” Davidsson was quoted as telling Dalarnas Tidning newspaper.
Other Swedish websites such as www.kristianstadsbladet. se and www.eposten.se/sport corroborated Tidning’s story on the 21-year-old left-footed dribbling queen.
“The shooter’s prize: SEK 1.5 million,” screamed a headline in a recent edition of Eposten.
The newspaper added, “The sale of Chawinga contributed to the Dalay Club 2017 making a profit of just over 4 million [SEK].”
Krisiandtadsbladet also published the same story by comparing Chawinga’s fee to those of previous transfers in Swedish football.
“The other big transfer in Sweden in recent times was Marta’s from Rosengård’s in 2017. The Swedish giants earned about SEK 2 million in transfer fees for the five-time World Player of the Year.
“However, the fee was not for a single player, as is Chawinga’s case, but for Marta and several others, including Amanda Ilestedt and reigning World Player of the Year Lieke Martens,” www. kristianstadsbladet.se reports.
The Malawi captain had, apparently, one-year remaining on his contract with Kvarnsveden—who were relegated to the second tier league last season—but they could not resist the offer from the Chinese team.
The top striker now leads the Chinese league Golden Boot Award chase with nine goals in six games.
Chawinga, who snubbed offers from other European clubs such as PSG of France, had not responded when Malawi News asked if she, indeed, joined Sunning at SEK 1.5 million.
But before the transfer, Chawinga was quoted as saying that she was moving to China to make money and that she would, in future, return to continue with her career in Europe.
The former player for DD Sunshine of Lilongwe won Swedish Golden Boot Award last year after bagging 26 goals despite that Kvarnsveden were relegated.
Last year, she also became arguably the first Malawian footballer to be nominated for Confederation of African Football Footballer of the Year Award.
Tabitha, who scored nine goals in three games for Malawi at the Cosafa Championship held in Zimbabwe last year, signed for Krokom/Dvarssatts, Chawinga in 2013 before Kvarnsveden roped her in 2016.
She also top-scored with 39 goals in 18 games while at Krokom/Dvarssatts, Chawinga.
Kvarnsveden replaced Chawinga with her younger sister Temwa who is also the Swedish second-tier league’s leading scorer, according to press reports.
Malawi women’s football team Captain Chisomo Kazisonga is another Europe-based football as she is on the books of Australian lower league side.
The exploits of the Chawinga sisters could open more windows of opportunities for Malawian women footballers in Europe and China, local women’s football instructor Karen Chawura has said.