Mwaba thirsty for game after ban
By SHAMAOMA MUSONDA -
MIDFIELDER Chanda Mwaba, one of the nine players involved in a match fixing scandal in Finland has expressed his desire to play for Zambia after his two-year ban imposed by FIFA ended yesterday.
Mwaba, an exciting left-footed centre forward popularly known as Solskjaer, yesterday expressed excitement at serving his ban saying, he cannot wait to return to football again.
He said he was a reformed person now and asked the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) and soccer fans to give him a second chance.
“Now I am just looking to starting to play, enjoying myself and getting my level back. I know it’s going to be tough but not as tough as it was seeing out this ban,” he said in an interview from Finland.
Mwaba,who was part of the Rainford Kalaba captained-under 23 team, was together with eight other Zambian players implicated in a match-fixing scandal in Finland in 2011.
Initially the players were suspended by the Finland Football Association but the sanctions were later extended to have worldwide effect by the chairperson of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee which expired yesterday, April 5, 2013.
Other players who were involved are Godfrey Chibanga, Chileshe Chibwe, Steven Kunda, Christopher Musonda, Nchimunya Mweetwa, Francis Kombe and the Yobe brothers – Dominic and Donwell.
Mwamba said he never stopped believing that at some point the ban would be over and now that he was a free man to play again, it made him feel ‘great and happy’.
“Maybe I needed this (not that it was good to be banned) but that I’ve learnt a lot during this time out and I’m now coming out of it brave and very strong and a better person,”.
“My wish is to represent my motherland at national level and I just hope the nation and FAZ also give me a second chance as I have been given to restart my career once more. I am now working on improving my fitness and getting back to my level.
“It was just so long a ban and the period was hard, but today it feels like yesterday, even though I’ve missed a lot,” said the former Afrisports and Power Dynamos player-maker.
The Zambian players fell prey to a syndicate of Singaporean businessman Wilson Raj Perumal whom FIFA were investigating for a string of match fixing offenses.
Perumal’s downfall was a friendly between Bahrain and Togo in 2011 when it became apparent that Togo had fielded a fake team and revelation by a Bahraini football official were that the match had been arranged by a Singapore-based, FIFA-approved agent.