Floyd Shivambu says African passport would solve Kaizer Chiefs' problems

11 February 2021 - 15:13
By unathi nkanjeni AND Unathi Nkanjeni
The EFF's Floyd Shivambu says the issue of visas for intra-continental travel represents 'colonial backwardness'.
Image: Financial Mail The EFF's Floyd Shivambu says the issue of visas for intra-continental travel represents 'colonial backwardness'.

EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu has weighed in on Kaizer Chiefs' battle to get visas to travel to Morocco for their first group match of the 2021 Confederation of African Football (Caf) Champions League.

Chiefs were set to play against Wydad Casablanca on Saturday and supposed to travel to North Africa on Wednesday night to honour the away fixture.

However, just hours before the team was due to depart for Morocco, the club announced that members of the travelling party were not issued visas to enter the North African country, despite applications being submitted timeously.

“After the draw and the fixture announcement, Kaizer Chiefs made all the necessary arrangements to travel including booking flights, securing accommodation, submission of visa applications and everything that is required for the trip,” said Chiefs.

On Thursday, TimesLIVE reported that Chiefs was denied a visa and the Royal Moroccan Football Association (RMFF) asked Caf to postpone Saturday's game or move it to another country.

“The Royal Moroccan Football Association has sent a letter to the Caf Clubs Committee informing it that the Moroccan authorities decided not to allow the Wydad Casablanca match with the SA team Kaizer Chiefs to be held on February 13 in Casablanca for the first round of the African Champions League due to safety and health related to the recent developments of Covid 19,” said RMFF in a statement.

“As the Royal Moroccan Football Federation [we] called on the Confederation of African Football to postpone the match or hold it in another country if this is not possible‚” said RMFF in a statement.

Chiefs spokesperson Vina Maphosa confirmed to TimesLIVE that the team received the correspondence from Caf on Wednesday night.

On Twitter, Shivambu said the issue of visas for intracontinental travel represents “colonial backwardness”.

“The AU must expedite the process of an African passport to achieve real integration of the continent,” he said.

The EFF has over the years been vocal about creating a borderless Africa.

The party's leader Julius Malema once told 702 that if his party became the ruling party he would do away with borders, saying borders were “imposed on us by colonisers”.

Last month, Ndlozi rejected calls for the Beitbridge border post to be closed after the border between SA and Zimbabwe made headlines amid reports that the Zimbabwean authorities had banned international travel.

Shivambu's statement drew mixed reactions, with some backing him and others claiming that the statement was flawed.

Here is a snapshot of some of the reactions: