THE National Rugby League (NRL) has finally kicked in gear with exciting results coming in.
The almighty Red Arrows eventually got beaten and it was Mufulira-A, who inflicted the devastating blow to the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) side.
But there was a sad patch about last weekend’s game as the game between bitter Kitwe town rivals Diggers and Kitwe Playing Fields which saw the game abandoned in the dying minutes of the highly exciting match.
Diggers and KPF have had a history of love-hate relationship. Just more than a decade ago when KPF was going under, Diggers inherited a good number of top players including former national team captain Happy Chipili.
There also revered American tournament was shifted from KPF’s Spoilers Den to the Diggers Nkana west Lair to the anguish of the KPF faithful.
So when Diggers had disciplinary issues three years ago and suspended a horde of its players, KPF moved in and snapped up almost all the players and took the bragging rights of the town.
Two years ago, a game between the two ended with ugly scenes as some KPF players battered the referee and got banned for life, they were reprieved months later but this love-hate affair lives on.
Last week, there was trouble in game between the two again and disciplinary issues await. People like the rivalry but not to a point of beating up a referee as was the case two years ago and intimidating the referee so badly the game could not end.
This is absolutely no good for the game and potential sponsors. One can argue that Europe has hooliganism as well but sponsorship out there is established and player talent is aplenty.
There is need for the Zambia Rugby Union to step up its let the players know of the terrible consequences to the game that such action bring about.
I remember that audit firm Deloitte Touche was once a friend to rugby but they left unceremoniously and they have never been back. With such incidents, the game will be losing its sponsors.
And still on the NRL, is it not a shame that Kabwe Health has pulled out of the league.
It has always been a bother to every weekend see results that come off games between these established sides when playing newcomers like Kabwe Health and Kansanshi.
A few days ago, Diggers won 185-0. What the hell is that for? What encouragement is that giving to a team learning the ropes? Red Arrows, Nkwazi and Lusaka have been fighting to outdo each other on huge scoreline against these new incoming ‘defenceless’ sides.
The decent thing to do is field a second third string side when playing such a team and possibly loan it some players to get them on their feet. Football teams loan each other players and the gap between the haves and the have-nots keeps reducing and ultimately, the game that is the winner.
I will not be surprised to see Kansanshi walk.
Sticking with rugby, the Zambia 7s team went to the Commonwealth Games and despite not winning a game, they wore a very nice piece of jersey by British firm Fortress.
But Windhoek Lager was the shirt sponsor. That is a beverage from Namibia when Zambia has so many companies either in beverage or not that are watching a foreign firm gain leverage from the Zambia 7s team.
This is a real shame.
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