THE Football Association of Zambia will today meet to discuss the U-23 camping ahead of next month’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt amid the government’s reluctance to fund the team.
Sports permanent secretary Joel Kapembwa on Wednesday said it had financial constraints and could not commit funds to the U-23 programme submitted by FAZ.
Kapembwa further suggested that FAZ can use its own resources to fund the team’s trip which is quite an impossible mission considering the lean coffers at Football House.
“…well, FAZ has money also, not so? You are aware that FAZ has money? So it can provide and government can also provide,” said Kapembwa.
Asked on the way forward in the aftermath of the government response, FAZ president Andrew Kamanga said the matter would be tabled at a today’s FAZ executive committee meeting at which preparations for the tournament would also be discussed in detail.
“Well, we are having an EXCO meeting tomorrow where all matters relating to the U-23 tournament will be discussed,” he said Kamanga without elaborating Kamanga has had a tough time with the government since Emmanuel Mulenga was appointed Minister of Sports.
Mulenga has rejected FAZ budget for the upcoming 2021 AfCON qualifiers for the senior Chipolopolo despite the responsibility for the team’s programmes falling squarely on the government.
This latest move is a blow to Kamanga’s FAZ considering the fact that withdrawing from a competition comes with serious punitive measures. Thus, resources must be found to fund the trip and allowances for the players and the technical bench.
The U-23 AfCON in Egypt will also act as qualifiers to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Zambia was last at the Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea in 1988.