By Sports Reporter
WARRIORS captain Knowledge Musona has praised the quality of the South African Premier Soccer League which he says has been a major factor in Zimbabwe qualifying for back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations finals.
The Belgian-based forward, who has had two spells at South African giants Kaizer Chiefs, is expected to lead the Zimbabwe attack as the Warriors head for the Nations Cup finals in Egypt later this month.
Musona is one of the 19 players in the provisional Warriors squad for the AFCON finals, who either currently play‚ or have played‚ in South Africa in the past before using the league in that country as a springboard to Europe.
“I believe it is the strongest league in Africa‚” Musona was quoted as having told the South African media on Tuesday.
“It develops players from Zimbabwe and gives them the opportunity to showcase themselves in Africa. Some of them are in clubs that are playing in the Champions League.
“It shows that it is a strong league.
“With us qualifying and topping a group that included DR Congo‚ and playing with the players from South Africa‚ it shows the PSL is a strong league with quality.”
During the previous AFCON qualifying campaign, the Zimbabwe squad featured several players plying their trade in South Africa.
These include Marshall Munetsi (Orlando Pirates)‚ Teenage Hadebe and Khama Billiat (both Kaizer Chiefs)‚ Knox Mutizwa and Divine Lunga (both Golden Arrows), Ronald Pfumbidzai (Bloemfontein Celtic), Evans Rusike (SuperSport United) and George Chigova (Polokwane City) just to mention a few.
Musona believes Zimbabwe football owes the PSL much in terms of helping to boost the careers of players and hopes the platform continues long into the future.
“Thanks to the PSL for giving us the opportunity to showcase our talents and be seen around Europe‚” he said.
“We are so grateful for South Africa accommodating us to play here and giving us the opportunity to go abroad.”
The Warriors, who beat Comoros in their COSAFA Cup quarterfinal on Saturday will play neighbours Zambia in the semifinal on Wednesday‚ before the squad is split‚ with half travelling to Nigeria for a friendly on Saturday.
The remainder will stay behind and either play in the COSAFA Cup final on the same day‚ or in the competition’s bronze-medal match on Friday.
Zimbabwe open their AFCON campaign with a tough match against the hosts Egypt in Cairo on June 21.