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FANS SEE RED OVER ‘UNFAIR’ FAZ

By MICHAEL MIYOBA

SOCCER fans have condemned the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) over its unpopular decision to dock Young Green Eagles three points which were awarded to Nkana for the Kitwe outfit to survive relegation.

Nkana where gifted three points by the association’s Player Status Committee which overturned the result of the Week 32 match between Young Green Eagles and the Kitwe side.

Nkana had lodged a protest over Young Green Eagles’ alleged use of an ineligible player who was serving a Red Card suspension during a fixture which Young Green Eagles won 3-2 at Khosa Stadium in Kafue.

Prior to the match, the FAZ secretariat had waived the suspension and instead fined the Kafue-based side K5, 000 which the club paid because their eligible goalkeepers were injured while their first choice goal keeper Gregory Sanjase was on national duty with the Chipolopolo.

Young Green Eagles requested for a waiver and were granted to field the suspended player who sat on the bench during the fixture.

However, the Player Status Committee chaired by Lusaka lawyer and former FAZ Executive Committee member Lombe Mbalashi and deputised by FAZ Copperbelt chairman and Executive Committee member Patrick Ndhlovu overturned the decision and awarded the game to Nkana with a 3-0 score line.

However some fans who took to social media to express their disappointment described the decision by FAZ as unfair because it was the association which allowed Young Green Eagles to use the sanctioned player.

Fackson Chichimba said it was unnecessary for the association to panic over Nkana’s relegation when the Kitwe giants could have survived without the three points which were given to them.

Patrick Kunda said the last minute judgement to award Nkana three points on the final day of the league exposed the associations’ incompetence to manage the league.

“This is injustice by FAZ. It is unfair on Young Green Eagles side because the same association which permitted the club to go ahead and use the player whose red card was waived after a fine of K5, 000 was paid has u-turned on its earlier decision which is very shocking,” Kunda said.

Meanwhile, Wisdom Kalenga said FAZ should take responsibility for the confusion caused because of wanting Nkana to stay in the Super League because of the club’s popularity.

“FAZ has shown that they wanted Nkana to survive because their ruling on the final day of the league is questionable.

“Why provide a ruling on the final day of the league and favour Nkana while disadvantaging Young Green Eagles who put up a spirited fight from the first game until the final game to remain in the league? This is an acceptable by FAZ,” Kalenga said.

While others mourned, Nkana fans jubilated and hailed the association for providing what they termed as justice which ensured that the 13-time league champions remained in the Super League.

Nkana finished the 2020/2021 MTN Super League season on 13th position with 45 points, five points away from the relegation zone.

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