Zambian football export, William Chilufya could play for Namibia national team, the Brave Warriors, as he is reportedly in the process of applying for that country’s citizenship.
Chilufya, who has been living in Namibia since 1998, has decided to renounce his Zambian citizenship and acquire a Namibian passport. According to the Namibia Press Agency (NAMPA), Chilufya, who is a prominent striker in the premier division, Civics Football Club, has started the process of changing his citizenship.
The 23-year-old striker told Nampa that he has adapted to the Namibian way of life and its soccer since he first came to Namibia at the age of 15 to play for Katima Wanderers.
Nampa says Chilufya’s parents in Zambia have since given their son the blessing to change his nationality.
Â If he gets the green light, Chilufya could become the first foreigner to play for Namibia under such circumstances.
On what he could do for the Brave Warriors should his application for Namibian citizenship succeed, Chilufya said team-work is all it takes for a football squad to win matches.
Chilufya was the top goal-scorer in the Namibia Premier League during the 2001/2002 season with 29 goals when he helped Liverpool win the league and was also the top goal-scorer for his team, Civics, during the 2004/2005 season with 17 goals.Â
Â Chilufya, who is fondly called Cosmos by his fans, helped Civics lift the premiership trophy twice in 2004/5 and 2005/6 seasons.
Chilufya was one of the four players who each scored 10 goals during the 2005/2006 season and has so far scored 9 goals in 17 matches in the current league season. Approached for comment, Namibia Football Association (NFA) Acting Secretary-General, Barry Rukoro, said various members of the public have requested his office to assist Chilufya in becoming a Namibian citizen to enable him play for the Brave Warriors.
Â He added that Chilufya is still young and can make a contribution to Namibia as a soccer player. “The NFA cannot doubt his commitment to Namibian soccer, considering the contribution he has made thus far as one of the top strikers in the country,” Rukoro said.
Chilufya is serious about soccer and loves Namibia, Rukoro said, adding that the NFA will support his application for citizenship. “If his application is approved, he will benefit our game,” Rukoro said.
On his part, Senior National Team Coach, Ben Bamfuchile, said Chilufya has the potential to become a national team player because he is a good player and goal-scorer. Bamfuchile is quoted by NAMPA as having said that Chilufya qualifies to play for any national team, be it Zambian or Namibian.
He added that acquiring Namibian citizenship will be advantageous in pursuing a soccer career.
However, the process of getting Namibian citizenship could take between one month and two years, depending on various factors such as the availability of the required documents, an official from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration said.Â