Kalaba, Sinkala and Sunzu yesterday returned to Lubumbashi


TP MAZEMBE Zambia internationals Rainford Kalaba, Nathan Sinkala and Stopilla Sunzu yesterday returned to Lubumbashi after getting their passports on Tuesday.
Kalaba said before crossing into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that the exit procedure at Kasumbalesa border was incident-free.
Last Friday, the players attempted to return to Lubumbashi through the same border post but were denied exit before they were driven back to Ndola for questioning at the Copperbelt regional immigration office.
Tension arose when the players were declared unfit by TP Mazembe to feature for the Chipolopolo in last Tuesday’s international friendly against Brazil in China.
Meanwhile, football stakeholders have commended Government for releasing the passports of three who were accused of crossing into the DRC without following immigration exit formalties.
Soccer enthusiast Langton Sichone said yesterday that Minister of Home Affairs Edgar Lungu should be commended for instructing the Immigration Department to release the passports of Kalaba, Sinkala and Sunzu.
“I commend minister Lungu for ending the probe of the players. These are young players, who need to be advised and confiscating their passports was not the best way to go.
“Now that the players have been given their passports, they will reflect on what happened and if they crossed the border illegally then they have known that it was wrong. It is good that the issue has ended,” Sichone said.
Zambia Sports Fans Association chairperson pastor Peter Makembo said he was praying for the three players.
Makembo said had the players come out in the open quickly the issue could not have reached this far.
“When it was announced that the players had crossed the border illegally, the players could have come out in the open to state that they were in the country. By the time they were announcing that they had been in the country for six days, it was too late,” he said.
Chipolopolo Soccer Fans Association chairperson Yotham Mwanza said there is need to handle such issues in a proper manner in future.
“It is unfortunate that the players were being called Mailoni brothers. Lets remember that these are players who brought glory to the country last year,” he said.