2015: A year to forget!
Published On December 26, 2015 » 1643 Views» By Bennet Simbeye » Columns, Sports
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Scorecard - ShamsI WOULD like to say goodbye to this eventful year this being the last Sunday of 2015.
I may have to look back at a few things that marked the year and maybe with your help, we can determine whether it was a great year for football or otherwise. I will start with the activities off the pitch before switching to the pitch.
Talking about off the pitch highs, the administration the skill to raise the game comes into mind and some of the efforts to move the game ahead include the enacting of the Club Licencing and then restructuring of the league albeit forcibly on the councillors.
This matter was rejected at the council meeting but arrogantly FAZ brought it back through a reconvened AGM in Lusaka and passed it with Simataa Simataa obviously challenging the legality of the matter. The Attorney General’s decision awaits this.
The league was also restructured and Division-One will now have 64 teams and the number looks rather too big and will obviously mean that the quality of football in Zambia’s second highest football tier will drop. And the lows off the pitch, whoa!!!
The mother of them all was the allegations from FAZ treasurer Kelvin Mutafu that the FAZ was corrupt and was the reason renowned kit supplier Nike ditched Zambia, the only country in Africa that was wearing Nike.
Everyone remembers how well dressed Zambia was at the 2010 and 2012 Africa Cup of Nations which has left the tri-band strip embedded in the fans minds and remains the most loved.
Some FAZ officials were named in running business rivalling Nike and that this strained the relationship between the association and the kit supplier while a nasty ticketing business was  exposed.
Match tickets are flown in from South Africa in sacks when there are companies in Zambia that can do the ticketing.
FAZ president Kalusha Bwalya subsequently appeared before the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) as well as few other FAZ members that Mutafu mentioned in his corruption rant.
This also brought back memories of last year where Mr Kalusha Bwaly was named to have received  up to US$80, 000 from former FIFA vice-president Bin Hammam who is accused of buying Qatar the right to host the FIFA 2022 World Cup.
And then Dario Bonneti, that coach who was sneaked onto the Chipolopolo bench by Government against FAZ’s will, was paid his ‘dues’ worth over US$380, 000. I feel that was a lot of money wasted.
And now onto the pitch, Zambia qualified to all four continental football competitions starting from Under-17 and right up to the senior national team and saw clubs Zesco United and Power Dynamos try their luck in continental football.
The Chipolopolo was first and put up a tragic performance at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea which was replicated by the Under-17, under-20 and most recently under-23.
Zesco and Power got eliminated early in continental club football.
FAZ argues that the fact that Zambia qualified to these tournament was an achievement but even they at Football House know that Zambia is not a team to make up numbers at international tournaments.
Zambia should be challenging for every ball and every title and just qualifying is not something to boast about.
On that score, I feel 2015 is a year to forget and I hope the players and administrators step up and bring Zambia better fortunes in 2016.
What do you think?
On behalf of management and staff of Times Printpak, I would like to thank you all for interactions we have had in this year as we are about to exit and hope for better prospects in the New Year.
I and the entire institution thrive to be at our best and will always be open to suggestions on how we can improve.
This column will be happy to receive the constructive comments and suggestions, and let us make 2016 better for our beautiful sport. For comments write to shamsmuzo@gmail.com

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