THE Football Association of Zambia says the strides it was making to propagate transparency and accountability have not gone well with some individuals that are beneficiaries of confusion.
FAZ said it has noted the growing trend of fabricated online stories aimed at frustrating its operations.
Communication manager Desmond Katongo stated that just in the last 24 hours, FAZ has had to deal with wild and unsubstantiated allegations of staff allowances for servicing the on-going Four Nation Tournament in Ndola.
“Since the new executive was voted into office in 2016, drastic changes have been made aimed at cutting down on operational costs. Evident among these is the decision to reduce on costs every time the Association is organising local and international matches,” Katongo stated.
He stated that this measure was self-evident at the on-going Four Nation Tournament that FAZ is hosting, where secretariat staff has been reduced to half the number that would normally service international matches.
“Traditionally, the standard number of secretariat staff servicing international games has been pegged at 20 to 30 but has significantly been reduced to around 10. Despite taking costing cutting measures, some known elements have still found it fit to make unsubstantiated allegations to discredit the association,” Katongo stated. “We wish to inform the public that the story published on a named online news publication is false and is only an attempt to derail the Association’s efforts to operate prudently. The strides being made by FAZ to propagate a culture of transparency and accountability have not gone well with some individuals that are beneficiaries of confusion.”
He stated that the association also wishes to put it on record that “the dreamt up figures that are produced are not only false but also an attempt to divert public attention from the efforts being put at preparing various teams for different national assignments”.
“Ideally at this moment, the nation should be rallying behind the Chipolopolo in their quest to get the best possible preparation for the Cameroon 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and other competitions. The vicious social media attacks have a recognisable pattern of surfacing each time FAZ makes strides in international engagements such as the on-going Four Nation Tournament. We wish to further dispel online reports that the association has failed to pay hotels currently hosting the four teams participating in the on-going Four Nation Tournament.
In the run-up to the Four Nation Tournament, the association engaged all its stakeholders with a view to hosting a successful competition,” Katongo stated.
“We wish to inform the public that FAZ’s books with all the hotels lodging participating teams are in order as per contractual agreement.”
And Katongo stated that the association was grateful for the overwhelming support it continues to receive from various stakeholders that desire to see the Zambian game reach greater heights.
He stated that it was because of their support that the association had thus far managed to successfully stage the Four Nation Tournament.
“We are hopeful that by the time the tournament comes to a close on Saturday, it would have left an indelible mark on the Zambian game. FAZ would like to appeal to members of the public to turn out in large numbers and support the Chipolopolo as they face South Africa in the finals of the Four Nation Tournament,” stated Katongo.