THE Football Association of Zambia – FAZ administration under Kalusha Bwalya was unnecessarily spending in excess of K400,000 per international match involving Chipolopolo but under the current regime those loopholes have been sealed and making the people who lived off such shoddy deals to suffer, FAZ President Andrew Kamanga has exposed. He has taken a swipe at the people who think football administration is a milking cow.
Speaking when he appeared on ZNBC Sunday Interview on Sunday, 4th March 2018 edition, Kamanga who seems to have continued blaming his predecessors for his shoddy performance which led to the failure to qualify to the 2017 African Cup of nations championship said that when he was just settling in office and the first international game he was surprised to have been given four tickets booklets. He also said that individuals were pocketing between K300,000 and K400,000 per game but that he has now brought changes to curb the scam. His relationship with Bwalya and football administrator Simaata simaata remains sour.
“The first thing that happened during the Congo game was… I was given four tickets booklets and found that I had plenty of tickets so when I asked why, I was told that it was the President’s allocation. Other executive committee members also had allocations but these were tickets worthy substantial amounts of money. I also discovered that the previous executive was spending about K300,000 to K400,000 as payment to Match organising committees and this money was going to individuals but we had to stop this and that is how you have been seeing us bringing in organisations like the Rotary, Lions clubs who we can only pay about K25,000 and make a good saving,” he said.
The FAZ boss also said that the MTN sponsorship contract in its earlier form was poorly done and defective as it was restrictive but his administration has renegotiated and have now signed a much flexible deal which will see other players coming in to inject money thereby increasing the revenue base.
“We found a restrictive MTN contract but we have renegotiated it and will allow entry of other sponsors like right now there’s an airline, bank and others who have come on board we will soon be signing the deal about next week. We found the MTN already signed and there was nothing we could do about it but fortunate it expired last year, then the renegotiation,” he explained and added that under the new deal the premier clubs will get thousands of dollars instead of the $700 they were getting.
Kamanga was also placed in a tight corner when asked to explain the allegations of his personal interference in the City of Lusaka Football Club administration allegedly because of his fallout with his long time ally Simata Simata. He maintained that the majority shareholder had no rights to remove people from the executive but contrasted himself when he explained that other teams like Power Dynamos and Zesco United which are wholly owned by Copperbelt Energy Consortium and Zesco Limited can appoint its preferred administrators.
He disclosed that the matter involving his deputy, Richard Kazala who was expelled will be tabled before the executive committee after the embattled Kazala went to the court of arbitration. He also said that Bwalya, the 1988 African footballer of the year has been unavailable to him locally while his relationship with Simata has been sour as stated by the latter himself. He couldn’t state whether he will defend his position but reiterated that those who made a living out of football are the ones most inured by the changes his executive has brought.
Efforts to get comments from Bwalya failed as his phone was off while Simata said that him and Kamanga have differences in opinions. Asked to rate Kamanga’s performance he said “I would not want to get into those details because I have rated him before. All I can say is that we have differences of opinions.”
THE PUNCH OPINION – KAMANGA MUST GET OUT OF THE DIAPERS
ANDREW Ndanga Kamanga’s comments and revelations cannot pass without comment, this is about the country’s biggest sport and source of livelihood to some people so the earlier he realises that running soccer is not kindergarten business.
While we appreciate that Kamanga is trying and may have tried to instil sense of transparency and accountability he must know that what will make him a legacy in football administration is the level to which Zambian soccer standards will rise, how many trophies Chipolopolo and Zambian clubs will win. We have searched and searched we have not found any award called ‘the most transparent association’ in CAF or FIFA, not even in FAZ itself unless he wants to introduce it now.
We have heard reports of players not being paid their allowances and clearly yesterday’s edition revealed that Kamanga is equally not transparent as he wants to preach because of the levels of inconsistencies. In one word he says that he is sure that all players have been paid but in another says he doesn’t know when the payment was done.
The grassroots programmes are non existent and we would have loved Kamanga to also come out in the open and tell the nation how much FAZ is benefitting from the kit sponsorship deal, of course that question may not have been asked to him but in the interest of the transparency that he is preaching it was only fair that he brings it out.
We will not write much about City of Lusaka impasses but we challenge the FAZ President to be open because it is such small matters which make many others believe that we still have his unseen hand in administration.
Of course by our position we do not mean that Kamanga’s predecessor Kalusha was very much better. While Bwalya’s record may appear to be better than Kamanga’s, we are still of the view that he did not give the deserving best to football administration, we cannot take away his outstanding performance as a footballer though.