Let’s start with Kalusha Bwalya’s failed appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)
In case someone maybe behind, the FAZ ethics committee disqualified Kalusha from the race for FAZ presidency with elections due sometime later this year after he failed an integrity test.
Dissatisfied with his disqualification, Kalu sought reinstatement in the race by appealing to the CAS but the outcome was similar, dealing a major blow to his comeback at Football House.
Not only did the CAS deal a blow to Kalusha but especially some of his supporters who really wanted to see him back at FAZ for obvious reasons.
But the point is Kalusha must introspect, he must take stock because he can still rise again depending on his choices.
At this moment, Kalusha must stop listening to the advice of the so-called supporters or politicians and listen only to himself at least for the moment.
The thing is, many of us knew that Kalusha won’t make it at CAS because precedents had been set in many such similar cases.
What I mean is, Kalusha should consult his UEFA coaching credentials, the badges and ask them if they are still useful.
Kalusha can still use his technical abilities or coaching qualifications to land a lucrative technical director’s role in the Middle East or some wealthy nations and move on.
He can be appointed to lead a football team in any capacity, that’s if he wants, because let’s call a spade a spade and not a big spoon, going for an elective position, even within CAF, may not be feasible because the same questionnaire will apply as it is a standard questionnaire for every federation – it’s the new normal in this advent of the Ethics Committees.
Or he may go for option number two; get a job in government and stop people abusing his hard-earned name for political expedience.
These politicians who are pushing him to challenge FIFA decisions may lead him into much bigger problems with the world soccer governing body.
Kalusha is a former FAZ president who understands where FIFA stands in these moments and their actions on erring individuals and having seen how FIFA protected him during similar wrangles of 2009-10 when he was at the helm.
He would do well to abandon those chancers that are urging him to fight on because they will draw his name deep into the mud.
Those politicians in Lusaka who are showing Kalusha ‘some love’ are not doing it because they love football, no! They know that Kalusha’s left foot was not only magical on the pitch but also in the ballot box.
They saw how juggling a few balls at a campaign podium in Kabwe in 2016 turned tables in their favour. Is this why they so badly need him? At the expense of risking a FIFA ban? Hmm!
But like they say, once beaten, twice shy. If they failed to reward him after he aided their victory before, what guarantee is there that they will reward him this time if delivers?
You politicians in government that have been desperately demeaning FIFA for the love of king Kalu, now is the time for you to give him much more than the FAZ presidency because according to CAS, he cannot be on the FAZ ballot paper.
Kalusha’s name is much bigger than most of these names in politics, this is a fact and it’s time Kalu realised this and deflect those that want to use his name for their political survival. I think he can win in Ndola Central, Kabushi and somewhere in Luapula!
About his supporters, he must ask himself, why most of them who disappeared from football stadia after he lost in 2016 only reappeared in 2020 trying to push his bid? Are they telling us they can only ‘develop’ football with him at the helm? No ways! They want to use his name to gain again! Don’t allow people to use your name, let them fight their own battles otherwise their ignorance of the law is pushing you on the brink of the FIFA wrath.
Kalu must take stock, abandon those vultures and re-establish himself in another iconic form!
Let me leave you dear readers with excepts from the CAS preliminary ruling to qualify my argument.
41.“Accordingly, since the Appellant was convicted by the FIFA Ethics Committee and the FIFA Appeals Committee, and FIFA being a “footballing body”, the Sole Arbitrator finds that the FAZ Electoral Committee and the FAZ Electoral Appeal Committee were entitled to take this element into account in their assessment of the Appellant’s eligibility.”
You can read the ruling up to no. 60 but I will end with another interesting part.
54. “Finally, the Sole Arbitrator finds that the mere fact that the High Court of Zambia apparently issued an injunction to suspend the FAZ elections set to take place on 28 March 2020 has no bearing on the Appellant’s application for provisional measures. The High Court of Zambia apparently rendered its decision on the basis of an application from FAZ officials other than the Appellant. The Sole Arbitrator is required to render his own independent decision on the Appellant’s application for provisional measures and he is not satisfied that the prerequisites to do so are complied with.”