By BRIAN HATYOKA and FELIX MALUNGA -
SEVERAL football administrators across the nation have backed calls for Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) president, Kalusha Bwalya to be given a minimum of 20 years to administer the local sport and produce the desired results.
Former FAZ committee member, Keagan Chipango said he worked well with Kalusha and that he witnessed the good attributes of the 1988 African Footballer of the Year.
Chipango said in an interview in Livingstone yesterday that Kalusha was the right man to continue steering the Zambian football ‘ship’ because of his good leadership attributes.
He said he vividly remembered that in 2010 when he led a Zambia Under-20 delegation to South Africa for the COSAFA Youth Championship, the team ran out of funds and
Kalusha used his personal money to pay the players.
Chipango said Kalusha sustained the team and ultimately Zambia won the COSAFA trophy at the end of the tournament.
“It is true from 2008 to date, Zambian football is enjoying an upswing partly because of
Kalusha’s leadership and influences in football circles. Those of us who are privileged to have worked with Kalu as FAZ president can confirm that he is the right man at the right time and I urge colleagues in football circles to give him another term as president,” Chipango said in reaction to calls by FAZ committee member Pivoty Simwanza that Kalusha should be given a minimum of 20 years to administer the local sport for the benefit of the nation.
Chingola Leopards chairperson, Bernard Moyo said local administrators had been empowered with necessary skills under the Kalusha regime through training and that Zambian football standards were also steadily improving.
Moyo, however, said the Zambian football fraternity were free to criticise Kalusha’s administration constructively for the good of the game.
“Football House is more professional nowadays and if you remember how court bailiffs used to grab assets from FAZ offices in the past but that’s not the case any more. This indeed a great achievement. Let us support Kalusha for better things to come in football because the man is connected and we stand to benefit as country,” he said.
Choma United secretary, Winstone Sichoongwe said leaders like FIFA president Sepp Blatter, UEFA’s Michel Platini and Issah Hayatou at CAF had managed to achieve a lot as administrators because of long periods they had been in their respective offices.
Sichoongwe said it was not possible to accomplish a lot of developmental tasks within one term or two, hence the need to give Kalusha more time accomplish more for Zambian football.
Western Province Amateur Football Association general secretary, Moses Matongo said through Kalusha’s leadership, football development was spreading to all corners of the nation through the appointment of FAZ provincial coordinators and the annual talent search programme, Airtel Rising Stars.
Eastern Province Amateur Football Association general secretary, Bridget Banda said Zambia was now being recognised and respected globally as a great footballing nation because of Kalusha.
Chifubu Bullets chairperson, Andrew Banda appealed to the football fraternity to desist from bickering and instead embrace each other and support Kalusha on his journey to develop the local sport.
Banda also called for an end to mudslinging aimed at Kalusha, saying for the Zambian to continue progressing the FAZ presidents needed support from all.
Kalusha, who is Zambia’s most capped player, was elected FAZ president in 2008 and got a second mandate in 2012.
The FAZ president is also serving as CAF executive member and sits on FIFA’s technical sub-committee.