By MICHAEL MIYOBA
GOVERNMENT and the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) must resolve their differences as soon as possible for Zambia not to miss a fourth consecutive AFCON, says football administrator Ricky Mamfunda.
And Mamfunda urged FAZ to aspire to be financially independent to avoid the tensions that have continued to be experienced between Government and the association.
Mamfunda said it is shocking that the minister of Sports Youth and Arts Elvis Nkandu is not aware of the recruitment of a new Chipolopolo coach Aljosa Asanovic.
On January 18, FAZ unveiled Asanovic, who was handed a four-year performance-based contract as new Chipolopolo gaffer.
On January 22, the Ministry of Sports Youth and Arts wrote a letter to FAZ rejecting their request for Government to increase Asanovi’cs salary fund from US$10, 000 to US$30, 000.
In the letter signed by Ministry of Sports Permanent Secretary Kangwa Chileshe, Government promised to stick to the US$10, 000 which is subject to review of the MOU once the funding resources of the ministry are reviewed.
Mamfunda said it is important for the ministry and FAZ to have mutual respect for each other for the benefit of the Zambian game.
Mamfunda said FAZ should be able to engage the ministry as major stakeholders in the appointment of a national team coach as partners who contributes to the coach’s salary.
He said the ministry should also understand that the custodian of Zambian football is FAZ and they are well placed to get the right coach for the Chipolopolo in view of what monies are available for the coach.
Mamfunda also urged FAZ to push for financial independence to avoid frictions which have had a negative impact on the development of the Zambian game.
“There is no independency when you are still a dependent. You can’t claim to be independent in my house when I’m the one who sponsors and as long as you are under my roof, you have to be subjected to my terms so going forward this is the reason why we are saying that we need to make sure that we improve our football on the pitch because money in football is made by playing.
“FAZ needs to push for financial independence away from the ministry, that way they are going to have independence. In the absence of that, as long as they still go with a begging mentality to the ministry, this so-called interference will always be there,” Mamfunda said.
Mamfunda also urged FAZ to focus on making sure that the new coach settles down and start working in readiness for the 2023 AFCON qualifiers.