Football indaba to tackle challenges
By SHAMAOMA MUSONDA -
JUST two months after the Chipolopolo surrendered the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title without putting up a real fight, the Zambian football family converges in Kabwe this morning hoping to get some light as to what really went wrong and what lies ahead.
Additionally, the Chipolopolo just last Sunday gave away a healthy lead on top of Group D of the Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifier by drawing with Lesotho, a result that saw a three-point lead reduced to one by Ghana.
Yet qualification to the World Cup remains a must.
But despite this setback, this Annual General Meeting (AGM) set for Mulungushi University will be one of the less acrimonious meetings held by FAZ in recent years.
In the last few years, a build-up to the FAZ AGM has been filled with animosity with the worst being a stand-off amongst the football administrators that saw two parallel executives running or trying to run football.
Kalusha was running one executive recognised by FIFA and Andrew Kamanga running the other Government approved committee.
Maybe it is because this is not an election year but even then, three years ago, when elections were not on the agenda, resignation of four committee members triggered mayhem in Zambian football.
That mayhem only came to an end last year during an elective AGM which saw Kalusha eventually get a new four-year mandate with three of the four committee members falling off.
Pivoty Simwanza, among the four who had resigned their positions, bounced back dramatically with the highest votes for committee member.
But today’s meeting and its agenda seems plain sailing apart for the appointment of the Appeals Committee which has also suffered as a result of the impasse that engulfed the game recently.
In 2011, FAZ removed Dennis Liwewe and William Nyirenda from the FAZ Appeals Committee for ‘working against the executive’ where they overturned most decisions made by the Anthony Kasolo-led Disciplinary Committee.
And at the last council gathering, which was adjourned to December to discuss issues which were not completed at Moba Hotel in Kitwe, the FAZ council decided to co-opt Elijah Banda to the Appeals Committee replacing Herman Mpashi.
According to a circular released by the secretariat, some of the items to be discussed include the appointment of the FAZ Appeals Committee, presentation of the audited 2012 financial report and presentation of the 2013 budget by the treasurer Kelvin Mutafu.
The council will also look at matters submitted and approved by the FAZ executive committee at least 21 days before today’s meeting.
In this meeting, Kalusha and the FAZ general secretary, George Kasengele are also expected to present annual reports from their offices.
FAZ media and communications manager, Erick Mwanza urged the councillors to adhere to the internationally approved dress code of a jacket and neck tie.
Mwanza said FAZ business needed to be taken seriously and those members who would appear at Mulungushi University in track suits and other regalia would not be allowed to attend the meeting.
But one matter missing from the agenda is the one where FIFA directed FAZ to reduce the number of clubs in the local league structure to make football management easier.
As Kalusha had said at the reconvened AGM in December last year “2013 would be the most important year in Zambia’s football history. We want to find in our hearts, the courage to do something extraordinary”.
He added that if 2012 saw Zambia finally emerge AFCON winners and brought local football’s finest moment since independence, overcoming all odds this year would be more challenging.
And truly 2013 has already been challenging for the Chipolopolo.
It remains to be seen which direction local football will take in this year where Zambia has to qualify to the World Cup to be staged by Brazil next year.
Kalusha’s FAZ executive will give that direction today during the council meeting that commences at 10:00 hours.