The country was caught up with the central defender who was thought to have ties to Malaysia whether by blood or through his paternal links. As a 22-year-old player who has an impressive physique, Kalonda was seen as the answer to the shortage of quality options available to national team head coach Tan Cheng Hoe in that position.
Efforts were made to do the groundwork and Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) themselves reached out to the Zesco United player to clarify the situation. However after an extensive check on his background via the documents that the player provided to the governing body, it has been proven that the tenuous link is not valid.
Through FAM's general-secretary Stuart Ramalingam, the statement released on Tuesday evening closed the book on the Kalonda chapter with FAM assuring the public that they do not take lightly claims such as this and at the same time warn people not to make false claims.
"After the stories surfaced regarding Kalonda and his subsequent claims that his father and grandfather came from Sabah, FAM too the first step of contacting Kalonda to get confirmation. He was informed of the criterias per the rules set by FIFA and we provided to him a checklist to get further confirmation.
"Upon receipt of the documents from Kalonda, FAM have contacted the relevant parties to validate those documents including Congo Football Association (FECOFOOT), Congo consulate in Mlaaysia as well as the National Registry Department (JPN). Yesterday (6 Jul), FAM received the response from JPN that one of the documents received is not valid.
"We have informed Kalonda on the result of the validation and with that, FAM have decided to stop all the process regarding this player," said Stuart in his statement.
While it was a long shot in the first place as FAM themselves already have a working committee to find heritage players from around the world and Kalonda himself has not surfaced in their checks, this confirmation is still a slight blow to the national team as the centre back position is a known problematic area.
Goal understands that Cheng Hoe himself was quite keen to have the chance to assess Kalonda after seeing videos of his performances for his club side but this latest development has certainly put a stop to that. With this, the attention looks likely to turn back towarsd Liridon Krasniqi who had early this year obtained his Malaysian passport.