…FAZ warns clubs ahead of new season
By MICHAEL MIYOBA
THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) says it will not hesitate to punish teams that fail to provide security at matches during the 2023/24 football season.
The new football season is set to take off this weekend with a curtain raiser involving champions Power Dynamos and ABSA Cup champions Forest Rangers who will face off in the Carling Black Label Samuel ‘Zoom’ Ndlovu Charity Shield at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
FAZ president Andrew Kamanga is hopeful that there will be no problems of stadium safety and security in the new football season.
Kamanga noted the need for the Zambian league to match up the high standards that it is held on the continent and beyond.
“We hope the Charity Shield will set the tone for an exciting season ahead with some niggling problems like stadium safety and security expected to be less problematic this season. FAZ will not hesitate to bring down the hammer on teams that fail to provide security at their matches,” Kamanga said.
“With CAF and FIFA sanitising the game by setting very high standards in terms of safety and security, we cannot afford to lag as Zambia,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kamanga said the Avram Grant-led technical bench has submitted a tentative programme that covers not just AFCON preparations but also the FIFA World Cup preparations.
The Chipolopolo have a concluding Group H AFCON qualifying fixture against Comoros next month that we will take yet another step for preparations for the tournament Zambia already qualified for.
“We have already engaged Government on the roadmap and budget for the AFCON to ensure that we leave no stone unturned in ensuring that our lads are well prepared for the tournament. One aspect that stands at the top of our priority list is quality preparations,” Kamanga said.
On the Copper Queens who impressed with one historical win at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Kamanga said; “We can only build from this point onwards. Having qualified to two Women Africa Cup of Nations consecutively and represented Africa at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games before the monumental qualification to the World Cup, we can have a reason to believe something great is happening in our game.”
Kamanga admitted that there are a lot of things it could have done better to make Zambia’s campaign at the World Cup smoother.
“All these things will be addressed internally and externally with other stakeholders to ensure that we continuously improve. The Copper Queens can now look to reboot and focus on the WAFCON and Olympic qualifiers ahead,” he said.
Kamanga believes the next few months will launch a new phase in the journey and composition of the Copper Queens.