Understand how football runs – Kamanga

FOOTBALL Association of Zambia president Andrew Kamanga says it is discomforting to be accused of trying to fix his opponents.

Kamanga also says if soccer fans were the ones to vote at the elective annual general meeting, he would be voted out because they think he has not qualified the team to the Africa Cup.

He stresses that people should take time to understand the game.

“Our focus for now is to finish our mandate next year. Once we finish, it will be up to the membership to now make a decision, [on whether] have we delivered. It’s really not up to me. I will only be judged on my performance by the members once the four-year mandate has come to an end. If it’s the soccer fans voting obviously they would vote me out because their view is that we have not qualified [to AfCON]. We have one year to go and a year is a long time in football. A lot can happen,” Kamanga said.

“…and by the way, when you talk about qualifying, or even getting elected, it’s not as though on 20th March [2016] when I got elected, I came with my own set of players, and then in the four years I have been failing with [them] but these are things you find are transitional. Look, I got elected on Sunday, there was a game on Wednesday and Saturday but tell me, what could I have done, even if I was a magician? But we feel comfortable that we are delivering. The only crime I committed was to win an election when I was not expected to win.”

And Kamanga said FIFA had independent committees that deal with specialised issues.

“It’s been a very exciting journey up until this point, personally I have also been recognised…I serve on the FIFA audit committee as the only member from Africa, it’s a seven-member committee. I was elected by the FIFA council because of my background coming from the accounting and auditing side. We administer the FIFA Forward funding programme. Whatever FIFA is doing I’m part of that process, that is where I add value,” he said.

“Of course others claim that by virtue of being in that committee, I have been using it to fix individuals. I don’t know how possible that would be because these are independent committees. I must be very powerful to be listened to because those things are done independently. Investigations are done by the FIFA Ethics Committee. They don’t even get input from anybody – they have their own way of doing things. For the benefit of the average reader, if somebody has been found wanting by FIFA, it is basically because of what they did. It has nothing with who reported them.”

Kamanga said those that accused him of trying to fix his opponents were merely ignorant on the operations of FIFA.

“It is quite discomforting to say the least that you would even get a minister now to even claim that it’s Kamanga doing this and yet we just run football purely based on our constitution. It’s quite unfair. People should try to understand how football runs,” Kamanga said.

He also said getting sponsorship was tough because the economy was not thriving at the moment.

“From the experience we have gotten, it means if you are going to look to the corporate world, we have been there, it is very difficult. The corporate world will come in if the economy is thriving. If it’s not, you now have to find alternative ways of raising the money,” said Kamanga.
“We are fortunate that our executive has identified a bond as one solution, so those that want to come up, to run for office, should also offer alternative solutions of how they are going to fund the programmes.”

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