Mamelodi Sundowns will not be signing Zambia’s teenage sensation Lameck Banda.
The 16-year-old is the youngest ever player to be called up to the Zambian national team and was subsequently handed a trial at Mamelodi Sundowns where he has gone on to impress.
However, despite Sundowns technical team’s interest in acquiring the services of the youngster, the player’s representative Mike Ngobeni of M-Sports Management, has confirmed that Banda has returned to his Zambian Premier League club Nkwazi after Fifa rules prevented the transfer. Fifa rules strongly dictate that a player can only be eligible for a move across borders should the player be 18-years-old or over, something which has proved a sticky point for Sundowns’ management and the player’s agent to work around.
“The boy is now back with his team, Nkwazi FC, in Zambia. Sundowns wanted to sign him but rules prevented him from signing. The boy is still a minor according to Fifa rules and he can’t be transferred,” Ngobeni told The Star.
Nonetheless, Sundowns are expected to monitor Banda over the next few years and swoop in once he turns 18.
“As a result Sundowns have decided that they will monitor him until he turns 18. The boy will turn 17 in January and after next year he can come back to Sundowns,” Ngobeni explained.
“Banda is a top talent. Unfortunately, because of rules, he can’t sign for Sundowns. His situation is like that of Lionel Messi (of Barcelona). You must remember that Messi’s parents had to move to Spain for him to sign for Barcelona. We tried everything,” Ngobeni elaborated.