FORMER Football Association of Zambia president Michael Chiti has counseled the football association to respect government and for the latter to do the right thing.
His counsel comes in the wake of a FIFA response to sports minister Emmanuel Mulenga agreeing to help resolve the impasse at FAZ should the National Sports Council fail to reconcile the conflicting parties.
In a letter dated March 30, 2020 addressed to Mulenga, FIFA confirmed engaging the minister on matters at Football House.
“I refer to our telephone call last week regarding the electoral process of the Football Association of Zambia. FIFA is committed to an electoral process, which respects its own statutes, the FAZ statues and the FAZ electoral code. Based on our discussions, I would like to confirm that I will travel to Lusaka, Zambia as soon as possible. As you will understand the exact date of my visit depends on the eradication of the coronavirus disease (COVID19) pandemic and the easing of global travel restrictions,” read the letter by FIFA Chief Member Associations Officer Veron Mosengo-Omba.
“The aim of my visit will be to meet FAZ, representatives from the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development and the relevant football stakeholders to discuss the football situation in Zambia. I hope that you will be able to join these meetings once confirmed. In this context, and for the sake of stability in Zambian football, I re-confirm FIFA’s position that the current FAZ executive committee shall remain in office and continue to manage football affairs in Zambia until elections are held.”
Commenting on the letter, Chiti said it was up to FAZ to decide whether they want FIFA to be in the dialogue process.
Chiti said, “when I was president of FAZ, each time we had a council meeting, we had a FIFA representative present. It’s up to the association, if the association wants FIFA to be present or not be there, it’s up to them (FAZ). It’s up to the association to invite someone to come and be part of this meeting. As far as I am concerned, the issue of FIFA coming to be part of the meeting is not an issue, he is just going to come and ensure that everything is held in accordance with what the constitution of FAZ says,” he said.
“He will not come and be a delegate that will tell people what they should do and what not, or should they vote this way FIFA will not allow it; no, no, he will just be an observer like what happens when we have national elections, there are those observers who come from outside, so it’s just the same thing.”
Chiti, however, urged FAZ not to be crybabies when government intervenes.
“When government comes in, I don’t know anywhere…when government comes in, you say outside interference. The FAZ constitution, unless they have amended it and I don’t know…clearly states that the Football Association of Zambia shall be an affiliate of the National Sports Council of Zambia just as they are an affiliate to CAF and FIFA, so when they are an affiliate of the National Sports Council, what does it mean? They are under government. When the national team, the players are out of the country and a calamity falls, who will be blamed? It’s the government. So those are the issues we must look at. We lost the national team, who was responsible FAZ or government? It was government, so let’s not confuse people, government and FAZ they are partners, so whoever is in FAZ, let them respect the government, let them just work hand in hand with government and government also let them do things right, let them not to be seen favouring certain individuals and think that’s were the conflict is,” said Chiti.