AS 2017 winds down, we thought we had seen it all concerning the infighting at City of Lusaka but no; there is always another nasty twist to the tale. Oh Yamoto!
City short stay in the MTN-FAZ Super Division has been turbulent at most and forgettable on the pitch but still an oasis for a sports reporter because what came out of Woodlands Stadium was a plot fit for a Hollywood box-office hit.
If I start to chronicle the events, it can fill up the whole back page of our biggest spreadsheet paper and I won’t have the space to talk about what is important. Unlike City egoistic executives I want to stay relevant folks.
I will draw you to the latest installment we were treated to on Tuesday when sponsor and developer Forli Investments chief executive Diego Casilli finally could not stomach it anymore and decided to pull the deal.
Trucks were seen leaving Woodlands Stadium laden with material and installations uprooted from the facility. Not a good sight for the club no matter which part of the divide you standing on. In all what is going on, the biggest loser is City of Lusaka football club.
Casilli pointed to the continuous harassment and attacks by the community and the executive as the reason he withdrew sponsorship. But the bigger reason was FAZ siding with the other camp which they announced through the general secretary Ponga Liwewe that it won’t recognise City of Lusaka 2000 Plc.
FAZ themselves babysit their sponsors in MTN and Supersport because they realise who butters their bread. They move on site and brush aside City sponsor without taking on board the best interest of the club. City will be playing in the lower tier next season and will need the resources to bounce back into the Super League but without sponsorship you condemning them to Division One for ages.
FAZ on one hand wants clubs to be professional and run according to club licensing guidelines but turns around does the opposite. They would have handled it better. FAZ slapped City in the face over the Vodafone sponsorship because they signed a bad deal.
So what message are you sending to the would be sponsors of this club. Sponsors are attracted to City because they boast a large following in the capital coupled with those assets in prime land and stadia. But any investor will look at the bottom line and if the toxic environment continues they will think twice about ploughing resources into the club.
City is too big a club to be run down by few self-serving individuals. Maybe the new found resources are a curse to the club because it has escalated the conflict. The self destruction tendencies by the club should remain in 2017.
Let City of Lusaka start wining again. Merry Chrismas and you all be safe.
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