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RE-ELECTION, WHY NOT? SAYS KAMANGA

FOOTBALL Association of Zambia president Andrew Kamanga says the Association’s electoral college of 86 will next month decide who is telling them a better story.

FAZ will hold an elective annual general meeting (AGM) on March 28 this year.

Kamanga, alongside Ricky Mamfunda, Suzyo Zimba, Richard Kazala, Emmanuel Munaile and Kalusha Bwalya, are in contention of the presidency.

On Capital FM radio’s Big Issue programme hosted by Frank Mutubila on Friday, Kamanga said: “if the electoral college believe that we’ve done a good job and that we can take them to the next cycle, why not?”

Under Kamanga’s four-year presidency, the Under 17 national football team won the COSAFA Cup twice – in 2017 and 2019, the Under 20 national football team won the COSAFA Cup twice, the Under 20 national football team won the Africa Cup of Nations (AfCON) in 2017; the same team participated at the World Cup in South Korea.

Other achievements, on the pitch, include the Under 23 national football team participating at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cairo, the senior national football team qualifying twice for the African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament – 2018 and this year.

It is, however, the back-to-back failure by the senior national football team to qualify for the coveted AfCON, in 2017 and 2019, that has headlined Kamanga’s presidency.

Asked if his successes have been overshadowed by the poor performance of the senior national football team, Kamanga responded: “well, you could say that because all you are looking at is one parameter – senior national team.” 

“But you see, you cannot have senior national team if you don’t have the building blocks at the bottom. After winning the Africa Cup in 2012, we started nose-diving because that’s the time we should have started changing and re-aligning the team,” Kamanga said.

“But we didn’t do that and the price we’ve had to pay is to drop to the bottom. I’m surprised that everyone is just looking at AfCON. Of course, we can argue and say ‘you’ve failed to go to the Africa Cup…’” 

He indicated that his re-election would depend on the members deciding whether he had met their expectations or not.

“You are looking at 86 members who obviously have to make a judgment in terms of who is telling them a better story. We’ve only been in office [for] four years. [But] others were there for eight years before, four years before,” explained Kamanga.

“So, 12 years against four years; these are things you have to put in perspective. What have we done for the members? Have we met their expectations? If we haven’t, they will decide otherwise. If they believe that we’ve done a good job and we can take them to the next cycle, why not.”

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