Former Kaizer Chiefs and Zimbabwe defender Teenage Hadebe now plying his trade in the Turkish League is definitely flirting with his European football dream after failing to return to his base following the 2021 Afcon qualifiers played last week.
Hadebe represented Zimbabwe in two qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia but now cannot travel back to his European base after exhausting pages on his passport and cannot immediately be issued a new travel document despite being a sporting ambassador for his country.
ZIFA, the Zimbabwe football governing body threw the matter back to Hadebe probably questioning his planning and organisation where the player ought to have applied for a new travel document well ahead of time to avoid the controversy circling around that could blight his career.
“It is the player’s responsibility but ZIFA is assisting nonetheles.” came the offical statement from ZIFA
There are fears that Hadebe could, at worst, have his contract terminated with his club Turkish club Yeni Malatyaspor set to take a hardline stance should he fail to travel from Zimbabwe this week.
What is irking the club is that Hadebe missed the high-profile tie against giants Fenerbahce on Sunday which ended goalless.
Hadebe’s manager, Gibson Mahachi revealed the matter had now dragged into levels where it could have serious repercussions on the career of the Warriors’ star.
“I can confirm to you that his club are now, very unhappy with what is happening to Teenage and it’s now being treated as a serious case,’’ said Mahachi.
“When they wanted Teenage, they told us not to worry about the visa applications because they would handle that and the process was very quick and now they can’t understand how such a high-profile sportsman, who came here to represent his country, could be facing the challenges he is dealing with now.”
“Teenage is new at the club and you don’t want the wrong impression to be created that he is deliberately delaying his return because he wants to have some fun back home because footballers have a tendency of doing that when they get a chance to go for international duty.”
“What we are missing is the bigger picture, which is that this whole thing creates a wrong impression of Zimbabwean footballers and we might find ourselves struggling to get more players into Europe because, in this day and age, information travels very quickly.”
Recently, Borussia Dortmund’s English winger, Jadon Sancho, was “dropped and fined’’ by the German giants club after coming back late from England duty.
By Gerald Dandah