Categorized | Possibly True

Zambian midfielder set for Arsenal [updated with player quotes & paper pic]

Stopilla Sunzu

Zambianfootball is claiming that midfielder Stopilla Sunzu, who currently plays for Congolese side TP Mazembe, has been excused from the next Zambian friendly against Tanzania on December 22nd as he is set to head to Arsenal this week.

The 23 year old, who they claim is currently waiting for his UK visa to come through, is also waiting on other paperwork to be completed before heading to London.

They quote an unnamed source as saying

Yes it’s true Sunzu is going to Arsenal but he hasn’t left. He went back to Lubumbashi.

The same unnamed source also said

Yes, It’s true, the boss [Katumbi] told every one that Sunzu will be going to England that was the last game he has featured for the team.

Needless to say I know absolutely nothing about this player who they claim is ‘highly rated.’ The news about Sunzu, who can play as a centreback and holding midfielder, generated a number of comments on the website, most of which were praising the player highly. He has 21 goals from his 53 appearances for the club which is an unbelievably impressive record for such a defensive player. The has been capped 32 times by Zambia and scored the winning penalty for his country in the 2012 African Cup of Nations and had trials with Reading when he was 19 however work permit problems stopped that move from happening.

I am always very dubious about reports like this but upon reading it they do seem quite confident. That being said, they wouldn’t be the first website to be confident about a load of bull.


This quote from the player was taken from the Official Zambia FA website

“I will be travelling to England to sign a deal with Arsenal after the friendly game against Tanzania. As we speak, Mr Katumbi’s personal consultant Salomon Eskadela is here in Zambia waiting to travel with me to England.

“I don’t know the details of the deal yet because I have not discussed with both Arsenal and TP Mazembe. However I spoke to both Mr Katumbi and Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger who assured me that I would not be going to London for trials but to discuss personal terms and possibly sign a contract.”

Hattip to @OsmanZtheGooner for finding this

And I’ve just been sent this from @Ceejay2 from his local paper in Zambia

Stopilla Sunzu

  • Steve

    I’m afraid that’s a no-brainer – honesty on the pitch is never rewarded. Of course honesty is it’s own reward…. it has to be.

    Players have to “go to ground” otherwise refs don’t even see the often low-level fouling that goes on. It’s possible (as we’ve seen) to kick a player up & down the pitch, but as long as it’s ‘small’ kicks, nothing that actually brings him down, the ref does nothing. It’s a very effective way of taking someone out of the game as we’ve seen done to Fabregas in particular in numerous matches. The *only* time a ref will do anything about it is if he goes to ground, and even then, not that often.

    As far as penalties goes – Arshavin the other day was the classic example. Go down and it would almost certainly have been a penalty. Try to stay on your feet, get nothing. QED.

    If referees stamped on the kind of ‘low-level’ fouling we see, early in the game, it would stop the whole process in it’s tracks. Of course then they’d need to be firm. And consistent. We all know that’s never going to happen.

  • Amanda

    The Champions League Final in 06 immediately spings to mind. Puyol had been manhandling Thierry Henry all game and the referee was giving nothing because Henry stayed on his feet. After the latest incident, Henry went up to the referee and said “Next time, I go down.” And the next time Puyol went near him but without actually fouling him, Henry went down. And got the freekick.

    Referees just need to blow when they see a foul, unless they play advantage. This waiting for the player to go down is ridiculous because honest players will always stay on their feet and will therefore be penalised for fair play. And players who are light on their feet, Rooney for example, hardly need another reason to go to ground, do they?

  • Vinty

    I agree with the above comments and unfortunately there is no need to debate as it is so clear that honesty is very seldom rewarded. If you do not dive, the foul will be ignored by the referee. What should happen is to play advantage and go back to the initial foul if you cannot benefit from the advantage. This would be a real incentive to stay on your feet. But the issue is that this would require very competent referees and as we know there is no willingness from the FA to improve the standards. To the contrary they seem to refuse to recognize the mistakes of the referees. The fact that for Rooney’s elbow the referee was asked to judge his own decision, demonstrates that there is no willingness to improve the standards. These judgments should be made by independent persons (former referees for example) to ensure that the correct decision is made (suspension) and that the actual mistake of the referee is exposed.

  • Weedonald

    I am a former national referee and saw the so-called ¨best¨ players using the following to fool a referee into awarding a free kick,penalty,card or all of the above. they tried wasting time, harassing opponents, diving, feigning injury, distracting adversaries, screaming at the officials (usually the linesmen),etc.
    There is a LAW which deals with unsportsmanlike conduct and it is very clear about the referee deciding whether the player should be cautioned or expelled, whether the ref lets play go on as advantage and so on. However common sense and the temperature of the game often determines whether the ref will intervene or not.
    That said, officials will reward players who respect the officials, follow the LAWS and play in a fair manner to win without resorting to theatrics, histrionics, dangerous and/or violent tactics, subterfuge, harassment, cynical or abusive behaviour towards officials and/or opponents. Officials remember those players who are good role models and will try and protect them from the opposite type. They will also try and protect every player from injury or abuse. Is honesty rewarded, YES, in the long run. Is it rarely rewarded in the EPL, YES in many games but it is still appreciated by any competent official. Really classy players rarely resort to any of the nefarious behaviour seen by fans so often worldwide. Messi rarely tries anything like that, he is devoted to getting to goal,despite constant fouling and harassment….Et’o is similarly fair. Ronaldo is as crooked as a bend nail but does anyone admire him….few!

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