FOOTBALL Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Andrew Kamanga has implored the citizenry to begin looking at the game of football as a tool for economic development.
Kamanga said this was the reason the association had begun generating money from its resources so as to take away the burden from the government.
He noted that the idea was borne from a significant standpoint, it being a long-term approach that would not only benefit the current executive but also generations to come.
Kamanga said this when he paid a courtesy call on Zambia’s Ambassador to France Dr Christine Kaseba-Sata at the Chancery shortly after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) and the Croatian Football Federation on the side-lines of the on-going 69th FIFA Congress in Paris.
The cooperation agreement will see a long term partnership aimed at up-skilling Zambian football talent and enhancing football development at national and grassroots levels as well as enhancing Women’s Football and Futsal.
“Your Excellency, this partnership will also see the setting up of an Academy where we are going to focus on building capacity in our local coaches including imparting them with knowledge about the girl child related issues, so we hope that through this initiative we can now reclaim our fortunes when it comes to playing football at the highest level,” Kamanga said according to Yande Musonda, first secretary – press at Zambia’s Embassy in France and permanent delegation to UNESCO.
And Ambassador Kaseba-Sata commended FAZ for partnering with the Football Federation of Croatia who she said were not only experienced but also placed grassroots football as priority which was one of the FIFA core values.
Ambassador Kaseba-Sata also commended Kamanga and the team for embarking on a campaign to raise funds meant to invest in football infrastructure so as to make the game of football become commercially viable.
“Infrastructural development is a high investment activity that needs public-private partnership to succeed, hence it would be good to see companies coming on board and contribute to bringing the Zambian footballing dream to life,” Ambassador Kaseba-Sata said.
She further encouraged Kamanga and his team to also consider investing in players as sporting success played a big role in building national pride and productivity that was critical for economic, social and human development.
In January, Ambassador Kaseba-Sata who is also accredited to Spain held talks with vice-chairperson of Camara Madrid, Augosto de Castaneda who pledged to facilitate a visit of the president of the Real Madrid Foundation to Zambia.
The Real Madrid Foundation is an agency under the Real Madrid Football Club that focuses on encouraging social sports in schools especially those located in rural areas.
The foundation, which has since set base in Zambia has been organising clinics for children and conducting professional masterclasses for players, coaches and physical education teachers.
All funds raised by the foundation will be dedicated to the social projects that will be channeled to rural areas as they start scouting from the grassroots.
Kamanga is accompanied by FAZ general secretary Adrian Kashala and they are scheduled to leave for Lusaka after the official opening of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Paris.