[By Bright Tembo]
LUXON Kazabu has charged that FAZ president Andrew Kamanga is being fought by government officials.
Kazabu, a FAZ life member, told The Mast that Kamanga is being showered with all the blames not only from football stakeholders but also by the government.
“As a life member of the association, I have been quiet and watching what is being talked about. I must say we are now backsliding, all the blame is being heaped on Kamanga and that’s only coming from an angle that the senior national team has not done well – it failed to qualify to the Africa Cup of nations twice now,” he noted.
“Look I have saved as a committee member under the leadership of old man Tom Mtine and in our time we never shifted blame to one person because we were guided by the principal of collective responsibility and when something went wrong we all took responsibility.
“So it’s unfair for those criticisms to be heaped on Kamanga and the critics have included even people who are in government. It’s an open secret, it is in the public domain and there is bad blood between the Football Association of Zambia and the government of the day through the Ministry of Youth and Sports.”
He said the government has its preferred people to run the affairs of FAZ.
“From where I am standing and observing, it appears that government has their own people that they want to see run FAZ and in fact through the Minister of Sports we are almost getting into a situation where we want to be making decisions for FAZ and people only started to be slowing after the letter from FIFA – then they realised that they are taking the high risk,” Kazabu observed.
“Now they are telling us they want to fix this person called Kamanga and I don’t know for what reason or reasons, not even the National Sports Council of Zambia was present at the launch of the [national] coach but it’s okay they were not even supposed to be there. But long time ago we used to have officials from the National Sports Council just there to witness but because of the fuse that has arisen and I tell you the fuse has risen because the party in power (PF) want to take partisan politics to FAZ and for me, I won’t be surprised that we woke up and find that FIFA has banned Zambia because of this tendency of wanting to take these politics to football.”
He adds that all football stakeholders have the duty to have the sport organised.
“All the executive committee members at FAZ, all the officials that are running football and affiliated to FAZ, they have an inescapable duty to ensure that football is organised and run in the manner that will see the standards going to another level. And it is not correct to find faults in one person,” Kazabu said. “What I do know about Andrew Kamanga is that he is a person from the corporate world, he is an intelligent young man. I am being objective and I’m one person who will not be convinced that he (Kamanga) hasn’t have the capacity to do the right things in FAZ. But you see when you have been fought from various angles by hostile forces for their own interest, at the end of the day it’s clearly football that suffers.”
He has however, urged football administrators to stay focused.
“So it is regrettable that what has happened to FAZ has to come down and I want to urge all the stakeholders in football circles, they should remain focus, because together they can make it happen because today you can sideline Kamanga but not sure if you are going to solve the problem,” said Kazabu. “So I want to urge all football stakeholders going forward they should run football by the constitution of FAZ and not listen to outside forces. Politics should be swept away otherwise we will be doomed as a nation.”