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Date: 14 December 2018

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Zambian FA in siege: FIFA ban looming?

[Posted 14 Oct 2010]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Face of Zambian football King Kalu faces a storm in Zambian football

With each passing week, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Africa and the world to continue to ignore what it happening in the Football Association of Zambia. Following several resignations of board members, FAZ finds itself deflecting calls for dissolution.

During the past month, FAZ has been hit by resignations from key board members. The disintergration of the Zimbian football leadership has been blamed on president Kalusha Bwalya's leadership style.

Four FAZ members, Violet Bwalya, Emmanuel Munaile, Henshel Chitembeya and Pivoty Simwanza all resigned in one week at the end of September, citing "lack of transparency and consultation" from Bwalya in his running of FAZ.

At the time, the 1988 African Footballer of the year dismissed the claims by the departed board members, arguing that there were attempts to undermine his leadership in the FAZ.

The FAZ president further argued that his management style was characterised by a spirit of dialogue, inclusiveness and consultation, adding that he had no time for petty politics. This is in stark contrast to the claims by the members who resigned. Who is fooling who?

Leadership challenges in Zambian football do not seem to be a new thing. In the past, the Zambian football legend complained about challenges he faced in getting consensus within the board on key aspects of the game in Zambia, which he blamed for slow progress on implementing measures to improve football in the country.

Now the former Chipolopolo captain and coach has to endure calls from top Zambian clubs for him to step down fro the presidency. His critics argue that Bwalya and the five remaining board members can not form a quorum on any issue.

Out of nine board members, four have left, and the constitution stipulates that six members form a quorum, and Bwalya finds himself in between a rock and hard place. Should he quit and dissolve the FAZ board?

The soccer legend does not show signs of relinguishing power yet or bowing down to pressure! If anything he appears to be getting the more determined to complete his term of office which expires in 2012.

"People gave us a mandate and they should let us finish our term," Bwalya told reporters in Lusaka, in reaction to calls for his resignation.

"Those who want to come into FAZ should wait for 2012," King Kalu declared.

There is already a petition circulating smongst FAZ members, calling upon the clubs to an emergency meeting. It seems like its a matter of time before the meeting is convened as more than 90% of the 100 clubs have already signed the petition.

Top clubs such as defending Zambian champions Zesco United, Kabwe Warriors, Green Buffaloes, Power Dynamos, Zanaco, Lusaka Dynamos and City of Lusaka are all in support of the emergency meeting to deal with Zambia's simmering problems.

King Kalu, who boasts that he has already received a letter of support from FIFA, maintains that the emergency meeting called upon by the clubs is a farce.

Meanwhile, Zambian football continues its tottering on the brink of a ban from FIFA.

A fact finding mission in form of a committee set up by the National Sports Council of Zambia has completed its task on establishing the legal status of FAZ following mass resignations last month.

The contents of the report of the NSCZ committee have been a closely guarded secret and remain unkown. It is not clear what action the NSCZ will take given the fact that it is an open secret that Faz does not form a quorum at the moment.

Should the NSCZ give any directive for FAZ to hold an emergency meeting demanded by the clubs against the opinion of the FAZ leadership, that could attract the warth of FIFA, and consequential suspension of Chipolopolo from the AFCON qualifiers.

These are difficult times for Zambian football.

Nigeria recently endured a ban from all FIFA and CAF sanctioned matches because of government interference. By the time the ban was lifted, the Super Eagles were demoralised and suffered a morale-sapping 0-1 loss to Guinea last Sunday.

Zambia's NSCZ is better warned to tread the ground carefully now. It is hoped that Kalusha Bwalya and the remaining members of the FAZ will resolve the matter affecting Zambian football without being pushed in any way by the government or the clubs' power.

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