Coronavirus delays Shilwatso’s move to Spain after visa hitch

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 00:00 |
Harambee Starlets striker Cynthia Shilwato celebrating a goal against Malawi during the 2020 Olympics qualifier in Nairobi last year. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

The global Covid-19 outbreak could not have come at a worse time for Harambee Starlets and Vihiga Queens’ ace Cynthia Shilwatso as she would have joined her Spanish side last week were it not for the virus.  

Shilwatso signed a three-year deal with Spanish top flight side EDF Logrono in February and was in the process of finalising her travel plans to Spain before the virus hit the world, sending things to a standstill. 

The forward had opted to stay out of Starlets’ squad that recently did duty in the Turkish Cup Championship, playing against teams from Northern Ireland,  Chile and Ghana, as she followed up her visa processing with her place in the national team taken up by Zetech’s Fosca Nashivanda. 

“A day to my appointment for an interview to get my visa at the embassy,  I received a message from them informing me that they would remain closed until further notice in the wake of the coronavirus. I have since been in Nairobi as I wait for things to get better. 

The Spanish league, just like majority leagues globally, has also been suspended,” said Shilwatso. 

She added: “I was really looking forward to joining my new club but safety comes first. I hope a cure will be found soon so we can all go back to living our lives.

I had already signed the deal so what was remaining was joining up therefore I am not worried.  When things settle and leagues resume I will travel.” 

The youngster was among several Starlets’ players who landed professional deals between January and February following the team’s stellar performance at the CECAFA championship in Tanzania and the Olympics qualifiers. 

Starlets beat Tanzania 2-0 to clinch their first CECAFA title. In the qualifiers,  they reached the penultimate round falling to Zambia 3-2 on aggregate. Ruth Ingosi, goalkeeper Annette Kundu and Corazone Aquino landed deals. 

Mwanahalima Adam is,  however,  yet to travel for trials in Sweden. The coronavirus has halted sporting activities around the world with the Tokyo Olympics Games the latest to be cancelled over the disease. 

Major leagues in Europe as well as the lucrative UEFA Champions League and Europa League have been suspended with the Euro 2020 tournament moved to 2021. 

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