FAZ EXPOSED? the association agreed to serve on the steering committee of the exhibition match before making a u-turn
By MICHAEL MIYOBA
The Football Association of Zambia was selected to be part of the steering committee for the much-anticipated exhibition match involving FC Barcelona Legends and Chipolopolo legends scheduled for May 25 at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
According to letters obtained by Daily Nation, Ministry of Sports Youth and Arts Permanent Secretary Kangwa Chileshe wrote to FAZ informing them about the match meant to market Zambia as a safe destination for tourism and economic investment.
In the letter dated March 14, 2023, Chileshe informed FAZ that it had been nominated to be in the steering committee for the game which is also aimed at promoting the growth of sport in Zambia through the creation of sports business opportunities.
“The FC Barcelona legends will play a globally televised exhibition match with a mixed team of Zambia AFCON 2012 champions and a few African stars from the continent. This will show the spirit of Ubuntu among African brothers representing Zambia and celebrating the success story of the fallen 25 heroes.
“Arising from above, I write to inform you that your institution is nominated in the steering committee to undertake this assignment,” Chileshe said.
In their response, FAZ agreed having received the letter from the ministry and pledged to be part of the steering committee.
In a letter dated March 31, 2023 the association hailed the ministry for considering the local soccer governing body and nominated acting FAZ General Secretary Iva Lengwe, to represent it in the committee.
“The association is agreeable to be part of this important event and that the general secretary will sit on the steering committee to undertake the assignment. We thank you for consideration in regard,” Lengwe said.
However on Friday last week, FAZ president Andrew Kamanga said the association was not part of the oganisation of the match as alleged by the ministry.
Kamanga also noted the need for people to respect the copyright as well as intellectual property of FAZ because using the Nike jersey during the exhibition match may attract sanctions.
Kamanga noted that the 2012 AFCON winning jersey is a property of both Nike and FAZ even if people were to remove the FAZ logo on it.
Earlier, Minister of Sports Youth and Arts Elvis Nkandu indicated that the association had issues working with Kalusha Bwalya who had been nominated to lead the Chipolopolo legends as coach.
“At every stage we have been involving FAZ. We should not just beat about the bush where there shouldn’t be any issue. Let me be just open. Maybe it is the involvement of Kalusha Bwalya. Because I don’t like hiding issues. First who is Kalusha Bwalya? Kalusha Bwalya’s name will never be deleted in the football history. For us we understand how Kalusha Bwalya can sale this country that is why we had to involve him so that he should be coach,” Nkandu said.
“Your politics, Kalusha Bwalya versus Kamanga… those for me are not important. What is important is the country and I would urge these politics at FAZ to end,” Nkandu said.