Zambia risk FIFA ban

Sun, 12 Mar 2017 09:32:36 +0000

 

By MICHAEL MOYOBA

 

ZAMBIA risks being banned from taking part in international tournaments if the FIFA guidelines to review the FAZ constitutions are not met before the March 31st deadline.

If the ban is implemented, the Zambia Under 20 national team may not take part at this years under 20 world cup to be played in South Korea.

In a statement issued to the media, FAZ Communication manager Desmond Katongo said that Zambia still stood on shaky grounds with FIFA’s intention to ban the country from participating in all international games if the issue of constitutional reforms was not addressed.

Katongo noted that FIFA itself had undergone reforms in line with its statutes hence the need for FAZ to align its constitution with the FIFA Statutes.

“It should not be forgotten that this matter was a FIFA directive that has been on the FAZ shelf for a long time. At the reconvened Annual General Meeting in October, 2016 FIFA through its representative Luca Nicola made it clear that the country would be banned if the new constitution is not adopted,” Katongo said

He also disclosed that FIFA guided FAZ on how to handle the issue of gay rights which caused controversy in the recent past.

“We also regrettably take note of the twist being added to this debate that FAZ wants to introduce gay rights. The matter was raised at the re-convened AGM by councilor Mofya Chisala and the FIFA representative did guide the house, that in light of the concerns, the clause could be altered in line with the Republican Constitution,” Katongo said.

Katongo noted that Zambia risked being disqualified from participating in the 2017 South Korea World cup if the nation did not comply with the FIFA recommendations.

FIFA gave FAZ March 31 as the deadline date for the constitution to be reviewed in line with the FIFA recommendations.

“Once again we wish to remind the football family that the March 31 deadline cannot be missed as it is the final one FIFA has given us. To avert this ban, we appeal to everyone to exercise rationality and not use emotions to ensure that we do not suffer international isolation through a ban. FIFA Member Association Chairperson Luca Nicola stressed the gravity of missing the March 31 deadline to all of us. “This is not something that FAZ has an option in, as it is part of the world wide football reforms that FIFA has embarked on. Even the U-20 success story of making it to the World Cup may not happen if we do not comply with the FIFA directive,” he said.  And FAZ has also called on soccer fans to rally behind the junior Chipolopolo as they take on Senegal in the final of the Under 20 Africa Cup of Nations to be played this evening at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.

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