NKANA Football Club will lose in excess of US$40, 000 owing to the three-match closed door ban imposed by FAZ on the club, says club president Everisto Kabila. On May 20 this year, Power Dynamos fans damaged a section of the perimeter fence of the northern wing at Nkana stadium in celebration of the winning goal in the 2-1 defeat of Nkana in the fierce derby.
Nkana fans last month celebrated in a similar manner at Arthur Davies stadium in the return match, with the team leading 2-0, resulting in the partial damage of the perimeter wire fence.
Power complained to FAZ, forcing the association to order either party to refund each other for the damage their fans caused and further slapped a one match closed door match starting last weekend.
Nkana accepted the fine but appealed for leniency to allow fans watch matches. But the FAZ Appeals committee instead increased the ban to three matches. Nkana has since started serving the ban with 1-1 draw against NAPSA Stars on Saturday, a match that was witnessed by only police officers, journalists and a few club officials and club security personnel.
Asked what the next course of action for the club would be after the increased punishment, Kabila said his executive had accepted the decision saying the mother body, FAZ, had decided and there was nothing anyone could do about it.
“Look, obviously there is nothing we can do about it. We asked for leniency for our fans but the association decided. But the truth is that the decision will result in the loss of revenue for the club amounting to forty thousand dollars from gate-takings and other businesses that take place on match day. It’s a big loss on our part but there is nothing we can do . We will try to manage but it’s rough for us,” Kabila said. “It has affected a lot of other aspects, including our advertisers around the stadium but we need our sponsors and we are assuring them of utmost due care, their investment in Nkana FC is very safe and rewarding as always.”
He also appealed to the fans to ensure maximum restraint during matches to avoid a recurrence of such punishment in future.
“We regard our fans as the biggest sponsor and stakeholders. We therefore ask them to be cautious in celebrations and general behaviour to avoid costing the club in future. And I further ask them to come up with something through the Supporters Trust to cushion the impact of the loss we have incurred due to lack of gate takings in these three matches. Whether it’s a trust fund or something, it will be highly appreciated. I further ask them to keep their support for the team going during this tough time,” said Kabila.
Nkana has arguably the largest fan base and their vociferous fans dominate match venues, whether playing at home or away.