By SHAMAOMA MUSONDA
AFRICAN Union Sport Council (AUSC) has called on the Region-Five members to upgrade sports facilities so that foreign bodies like world football governing, FIFA, Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) and World Athletics should not be the ones to decide the usability of facilities.
Speaking in an interview, AUSC Region Five chief executive officer (CEO) Stanley Mutoya said it was not right that outside bodies were the ones to enforce ban on stadia in the region when locals could have kept them in the perfect conditions.
Mutoya said the regional body, in its revised strategic plan ending in 2028, would push its members to keep their sports facilities in perfect form for the good of the athletes and not the inspectors.
He said there was need for Africa to transform its mind-set and ensure the facilities were always in good condition so that they do not send athletes outside the continent just to prepare for an event.
“We have to invest locally and upgrade our sporting facilities. We may be unpopular on this one but we shall coordinate with our member countries so we believe in ourselves. We don’t need to wait for CAF, FIFA World Athletics, IOC or anyone to come and ban our stadium.
“We shall set our own standards. High standards and no one will come to ban our stadia. It’s like someone comes to your house and tells you that your roof is leaking yet that’s where you live,” he said.
Mutoya said this at the close of the AUSC Region Five strategic planning mid-term review meeting at Radisson Blu Hotel in Livingstone.
He added that the mind-set change in the region was needed to ensure that an athlete would have to prepare within the continent for international engagements as opposed to going outside to a high performance centre.
He said this called for Africa to create its own high-performance centres and get its facilities in good condition so they provide decent opportunities for local athletes to thrive.
“We can work with our own hands and that means we have to use our creativity. By sending one athlete to Europe where they have already established facilities and academies, we are exporting jobs, we are exporting the job of a doctor, a job of a facilities manager, a psychologist, a masseur yet we are crying that there are no jobs here,” said.
He said the region had since adopted a strategy to meet its goals through the HEART model of change.
impressed in South Africa reaping
nine medals to subsequently saw four athletes qualify for the World Fitness
Federation 2023 World Championships slated for Germany in November.
The four Zambian athletes fielded at the WFF South Africa championship outclassed
seven other countries to emerge victorious in the various
categories and all