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Why Nwabali backs SA-based players with no intent to move to Europe

Super Eagles and Chippa United goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali has offered his reasons on why he doesn’t see a problem with SA-based players choosing to stay in the domestic league rather than pursuing a career in Europe.

Nwabali, the 27-year-old shot-stopper, quickly rose to prominence after joining the Chilli Boys in the 2022/23 season, both domestically and across Africa.

Limited playing time in his first DStv Premiership season turned into a starting role for Chippa this campaign. His first season saw him appear in only nine games, compared to 27 this campaign. So far, he’s conceded 26 goals but also kept 10 clean sheets.

He has also seemingly solidified his position as a regular starter for the Super Eagles. Nwabali played a key role in helping Nigeria reach the AFCON final earlier this year, where they fell to the hosts, Ivory Coast.

In a recent interview with FARPost, Nwabali, having spent two seasons in South Africa, was asked about the reasons behind the lower number of South African footballers playing in Europe compared to West Africa.

Nwabali believes that South Africa’s domestic league offers players a lot they desire – good salaries, endorsements, and sponsorships, while West Africans have to leave their countries to get that.

However, the former Enyimba man also saluted those like Percy Tau, who’ve ventured out of their comfort zones to challenge themselves abroad.

Why Nwabali backs SA-based players with no intent to move to Europe
Stanley Nwabali – Picture by Chippa United


“Ronwen Williams is at Sundowns, he gets everything he wants, he’s got the name, the sponsor, his family is here, everyone is supporting him, he’s the captain of Bafana Bafana, to me the league is okay,” said Nwabali.

“The league, the pay is little bit nice for [depending on] a certain level of your team. 

It’s not like in the West Africa where our leagues are not that much good. We want to go to Europe, we want to go come to South Africa, we want to go to Morocco, all those kind of leagues, if your league is nice there’s no point of you leaving.

“If your league is nice, you’re getting paid, you’re getting sponsors, what are you leaving for? 

“If you want to challenge yourself, you can still leave. It depends on you if you can cope there, if you can’t cope there, it’s fine to just come back and play your football.”

RELATED STORY: ‘Bafana players looked scared’: Nwabali relives AFCON clash

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