I AM confident that Kalusha Bwalya will take it in his stride and learn a lesson from this experience to make him even better and stronger going forward, says Nevers Mumba.
Commenting on Monday’s announcement that the FIFA Appeals Committee partially upheld the appeal lodged by Kalusha and reduced the sanction previously imposed by the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee last year, Mumba said the soccer icon needs healing having undergone so much since the ban was implemented by world football’s governing body.
“I guess there is not much to be said about the great news coming out of FIFA that’s not already been said, but to express my joy and sense of relief that our national icon has been to a certain extent vindicated and a sense of justice has prevailed,” he said. “Secondly, I wish to point out that apart from our similar receding hair lines and public service focused lives, Kalusha and I share a similar philosophy of never saying never in the face of challenges.”
Mumba further said he hoped all could learn about courage, perseverance and fighting for a cause bigger than themselves and to be true ambassadors for the country.
“On the one hand, I am confident that Kalusha will take it in his stride and learn a lesson from this experience to make him even better and stronger going forward. I also hope we can all learn about courage, perseverance and fighting for a cause bigger than ourselves, to be true ambassadors for our beloved nation,” said Mumba. “Indeed our battles may be different [but] the goal remains the same, and that is a better Zambia, a better society for our children, and their future generations.”
According to a statement issued by FIFA, the Appeals Committee decided to reduce the duration of the two-year ban imposed on Kalusha last year to the period already served.
“FIFA Appeal Committee has partially upheld the appeal lodged by Mr Kalusha Bwalya, the former president of the Football Association of Zambia and member of the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football, and reduced the sanction previously imposed by the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee in its decision dated 12 April 2018,” read part of the letter.
“After analysing and taking into consideration all the circumstances of the case, the FIFA Appeal Committee decided to reduce the duration of the ban from taking part in any football-related activity imposed on Mr Bwalya to the period already served at the time of the notification of the present decision. As a consequence, the ban imposed on Mr Bwalya ended upon notification of the decision of the FIFA Appeal Committee. Furthermore, a fine of CHF 10,000 has been imposed on Mr Bwalya. The decision of the FIFA Appeal Committee was notified to Mr Bwalya today, and came into force immediately.”
Last year, the FIFA adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee banned Kalusha, then a member of the executive committee of CAF, for two years after concluding its investigations.
“The investigation against Mr Bwalya was opened on 28 February 2017, and focused principally on benefits that Mr Bwalya had received from Mr Bin Hammam,” a statement from FIFA read.
The adjudicatory chamber found Mr Bwalya guilty of having violated art. 16 (Confidentiality) and art. 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits) of the FIFA Code of Ethics.