JOHANNESBURG - Mamelodi Sundowns have missed out on the talent of Zambian starlet, Lameck Banda.
Banda (16) was on trial at Sundowns for three weeks and coach Pitso “Jingles” Mosimane was very impressed with the youngster and wanted to sign him.
Banda’s agent, Mike Ngobeni of M-Sports Management, confirmed that Fifa rules prevented Sundowns from capturing the services of the Zambian.
“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. 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 elaborated.
Banda is currently with the national Under-20 of Zambia who are preparing for the upcoming Cosafa Cup.
He has already earned a call to the Zambia senior team, thusbreaking the record of Zambian legend Kalusha Bwalya by becoming the youngest player to be called up by the senior national team.
He was in the squad that lost to Nigeria in the World Cup qualifier but didn’t play.
“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 explained.
Sundowns players were also captivated by Banda so much so they nicknamed him Sadio Mane.
Banda propelled Zambia’s Under-17 side to Cosafa Cup triumph earlier this year and has been tipped to achieve big things in the world of football.