Sab’s Eye: A Game of Football

By Saboi Imboela

SaboiI have always declared that I can never support any foreign team other than the local ones. Everybody who knows me knows that my team is the one and only High Flying Nkwazi.

Three weeks ago my sister went to watch football at Nkoloma stadium and called me saying Nkwazi was playing with ZANACO. I picked up my sons and a friend who lives near the stadium and within an hour were at the stadium. As luck would have it, the team my sister had said was Nkwazi even scored as we arrived and we were up in the air jumping and supporting it.

Then the moment of truth came, my sister told me that it was not Nkwazi but she knew that it was the only way to get me to the stadium. The two teams playing were, therefore, Zanaco and Red Arrows. Well, I was not upset because I love both teams and the game was great.

There is nothing like watching a game live at the stadium. The euphoria, noise, conversations and predictions as the game goes on by the spectators is just something one looks forward to in a stadium.

The following weekend, Saturday the 16th March, Zanaco played with Orlando Pirates. We got our T.shirts and boots ready and could not wait to watch that much anticipated game. The funny part about that game was that people supported ZANACO and Orando Pirates’ Collins Mbesuma who is Zambian National team striker as an individual.

At one point Mbesuma was tackled and some people screamed at the ZANACO defender to take it easy on him as he was going in camp a few days after that to prepare for the Zambia-Lesotho game. I remember telling the guys next to me that hope they will not forget who Mbesuma was playing for in that game and cheer him when he scores.

Well, he never scored so we never got to find out just what would have happened. The reason I enjoy supporting local teams is that one day I would like to see a situation where local football heroes do not have to play internationally to make a lot of money from their talent.

International football should and will of course always give more money, but local football should be developed in such a way that those that do not get a chance to play internationally can have good money playing locally. Sports, like many artistic and sports professions have a time tag on them and can mostly be done within a certain number of years, so unlike formal jobs, the artists and sportsmen always have to make a lot of money in a given time frame of their lives and later on invest in other ventures or simply diversify in their fields, in order to live a comfortable life for the rest of their lives.

If I support a local team, I should buy their jersey and go to their matches and that money will ultimately go to the sportsmen. However, with bad and limited sports infrastructure, local football and other sports are not receiving the much needed attention.

Hopefully with the current building of new stadia and other sports infrastructure, I hope to see a lot of people support their local teams, and ultimately contribute to the development of the sports and the country at large.