Cape Town - Polokwane City goalkeeper Cyril Chibwe has revealed his reasons for snubbing Bafana Bafana and choosing to play for Zambia instead.
Chibwe has enhanced his reputation with some impressive performances for Rise and Shine, including a man-of-the-match performance in the 1-0 victory over Kaizer Chiefs last month.
The 26-year-old shot-stopper was rewarded with a call-up to Molefi Ntseki's Bafana squad for the upcoming Nelson Mandela Challenge clash with Mali but opted not to play for the country of his birth and instead represent his father's nation Zambia for which he has explained his reasoning.
"It wasn't really saying no Bafana, you understand? It's a matter of my dad used to play that side, so he didn't really manage to play for the national team. I thought I need to fulfil his dream and make it my dream," Chibwe tells KickOff.
"Zambia called me and then we took a decision from there, but way back it was whoever comes first. If Bafana comes first, I will choose them because Zambia wouldn't have recognised me by then. So now Zambia spoke to me first before Bafana.
"But it's not a matter of I said 'no I don't want to'... it is something that I just needed to fulfil on my own, make my dad proud and myself proud too. He is in South Africa now; I grew up in South Africa. I was born in the Rustenburg; my home is in Rustenburg here in South Africa.
"People are getting confused, even my mom is from Zambia, they are both from that side. They came to this side long ago. People are being confused thinking my mom is from this side and my dad is from Zambia but no, they are both from Zambia."
When asked if he sees himself as Zambian or South African, Chibwe responded:
"(Laughs) Since everything has been confirmed now that I will be playing for Zambia, I'll consider myself as a Zambian, I don't have a choice," he said.
"I was young when I used to visit Zambia, I don't remember anything else, I was very young. I don't really remember a lot from Zambia. I'm hoping for a warm welcome like they've been welcoming me on their social media page."
- TeamTalk Media