President Edgar Lungu has urged football stakeholders to interrogate the low turnout at stadiums and Zambia’s failure to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations twice in a row.
Lungu said something remarkable needed to be done to ensure that the Chipolopolo return to the continental showpiece.
The 2012 African Champions failed to qualify for the 2017 and 2019 tournaments.
“I think there is something that’s needs to be done magically,” the president said on Saturday after watching Zesco United thrash Zanaco 4-1 in the inaugural ABSA cup.
The low turnout at the 49,800 capacity Levy Mwanawasa Stadium did not please the president.
“Where are the supporters?” Lungu asked, imploring Football Association of Zambia vice president Rix Mweemba and Barclays Bank Zambia managing director Mizinga Melu to work at finding the solution.
“I think we will engage FAZ and the sponsors to find out what is happening. It is the most popular sport, but if the stadium like this one is 10℅ filled up, it is a worry. In Lusaka it is the same thing. If people lose interest, they can’t take their children to play or watch soccer and in the end, football suffers.”
Last week, the ABSA cup semifinals played at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka attracted a near full but it’s official seating capital is only 7,000.