By NDINAWE SIMPELWE –
THE Football Association of Zambia executive has differed with its president Andrew Kamanga following his reluctance to grant his predecessor Kalusha Bwalya a recommendation letter to contest at the FIFA Council next year.
But Kamanga said Bwalya’s request for a letter came when the association had already endorsed COSAFA president Suketu Patel as a regional decision.
A source within the FAZ executive explained how the association is split following Kamanga’s reluctance to draft the letter of recommendation.
The source revealed that correspondence to have the letter written started as early as October 10, but the FAZ president had been dragging his feet on the matter.
The source said vice-president Richard Kazala wrote to Kamanga on October 10 seeking indulgence on the matter and the FAZ president replied four days later instructing the general secretary, Ponga Liwewe to have the issue as an agenda item during their next meeting.
“But since then the president has not given a definite direction whether he is for the idea of giving Kalusha the letter or not.
“This has angered majority of the Exco members because all Copperbelt and Lusaka-based members are for the idea to recommend Kalusha. Only two members have not declared their position,” the source said.
Bwalya, who was asked to put his request in writing, wrote to FAZ on October 12 and Liwewe acknowledged receiving the letter and promised to get back to him.
The difference in opinion in the executive is the latest in what has been a divided FAZ since going into office earlier this year.
The source said Kamanga’s refusal to back Bwalya will be seen as a way of settling personal scores with the former president as the relationship between the two had not been healthy way before the elections were held in March this year.
In one of the correspondences, Kazala advised Kamanga to rise above personal vendetta and put the nation first.
“To be president and leader of such an organisation like FAZ, you ought to embrace everyone irrespective of status. I notice from your email response herein contained and our previous calls that certainly you are being personal against me and Kalusha. Further note that members of the exco are all independent persons and cannot be misguided as you allege.
“Everyone in exco is aware that your friendship with Kalusha is not good, we exco and the country need both of you to develop soccer. I therefore ask you to be above personal issues and take the interests of the countrymen and women first. If this is difficult for you, then declare interest and let me as your vice handle this issue with exco and the secretariat,” reads Kazala’s letter to Kamanga in part.
Earlier, Kamanga, in responding to queries from exco members why he had delayed in issuing the recommendation letter, said FAZ should not be seen to be taking positions that were at variance with the regional body which had settled for Patel.
“I have explained this position to Kalusha a short while ago, and he agrees with me that we conclude the two meetings before we revert to him.
“We should not be seen to be taking positions which will be at variance with the regional position. Our representatives in CAF and FIFA should reflect the expectations of all members who are going to represent the interests of COSAFA, CAF and FIFA,” Kamanga’s letter reads in part.
The source further said the association had never sat to agree on which candidate to endorse, adding that the decision to side with COSAFA was made by Kamanga in his individual capacity.
“Instead of concentrating on the Cameroon match ahead of us, our president is busy with trivial issues. We are not going anywhere like this,” the source complained.