In a statement made on the Zed podcast, Rainford Kalaba, a football player, shared his thoughts on the 2016 CAF Player of the Year award. He commended Kalusha Bwalya, a former Zambian footballer and administrator, for voting for Ugandan Dennis Onyango. According to Kalaba, Bwalya’s decision was justified because Onyango had won the CAF Champions League with Mamelodi Sundowns that year, while Kalaba himself had won the CAF Confederation Cup with TP Mazembe.
Kalaba acknowledged that there existed a significant gap between these two competitions in terms of prestige and importance. The CAF Champions League is widely regarded as the premier club competition in Africa, featuring the top clubs from across the continent competing for the title. In contrast, the CAF Confederation Cup is considered a secondary tournament, often perceived as having a lower stature compared to the Champions League.
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Given this context, Kalaba explained that he did not take offense to Bwalya’s vote for Onyango. He understood the rationale behind it, recognizing that winning the CAF Champions League holds greater weight and is regarded as a more significant accomplishment than winning the Confederation Cup. Kalaba’s perspective demonstrates his understanding of the differing levels of prestige associated with these competitions and how they may influence voting decisions for individual awards.
Kalusha Bwalya did the right thing to vote for Ugandan Dennis Onyango for the CAF Player of the year award (based in Africa) in 2016 because Onyango won the CAF champions with Mamelodi Sundowns in that year while I won the Confederations Cup with TP Mazembe. Looking at those two competitions, there is a huge gap and that is why I never got offended because I understood.” Said kalaba
It’s important to note that Kalaba’s remarks reflect his personal opinion and interpretation of the situation. Others may have varying viewpoints on the significance of these competitions and their impact on voting for individual accolades. Ultimately, football awards are subjective and open to interpretation, and different individuals may prioritize different criteria when casting their votes.