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Kasonde to make shock return

9th February, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Football Association is believed to have made a last-minute attempt to bring back its former defender Francis Kasonde.

But, they are racing against time in getting all the necessary paperwork done before the registration of players slams shut on Sunday at midnight.

The New Sabah Times Sports believed that the former Zambian international, who has 35 caps under his belt, has agreed to rejoin the Sabah Rhinos.

In fact, a reliable source, who wished to remain anonymous, said if everything goes according to plan, Kasonde, who turns 32 this September 1, is expected to be here by this weekend.

If he signs, he will be a direct replacement for crocked Croatian defender Igor Cerina. Sabah Rhinos team manager Datuk Juil Nuatim when contacted yesterday refused to confirm or deny the possibility of Kasonde rejoining the Sabah Rhinos.

“After two matches into the season, now we realise that there is an urgency for us to strengthen our backline. “We have two good local defenders, and they were excellent in the last two games where we only conceded one goal and scored five, which is good.

“But then again, the season is still a long way to go, and we need to get someone that we can count on. “So, I would say that we are in need of an experienced defender, and when we talk about that, we are talking about a foreign defender.

“Yes, we have Igor, but he is still injured, and we don’t know for certain when he will be okay, and ready to play for the team.

“We will definitively not take any chances in strengthening our backline, and if a decision is made, it will be for the benefit of the team and Sabah.

“But, let’s just wait if anything is happening when the registration of players slams shut on Sunday,” said Juil.

For the record, the well decorated Zambian has won 13 titles and two individual accolades in his glittering career, with the most coveted one being the African Cup of Nations title when they shocked hot favourites, Ivory Coast with a penalty shoot-out victory.

He plays as a centre-back but also can play as a defensive midfielder or as a right-back.

Last season, he was signed during the mid-season transfer window replacing the injured Igor, who has yet to fully recover until now.

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