AFTER months of cat and mouse chases between the Ministry of Sports and the Football Association of Zambia, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.
The two have been at loggerheads over a number of issues thereby affecting football development in the country.
Both FAZ and Ministry of Sports have attributed their disputes to miscommunication between them.
In a joint statement signed by sports permanent secretary Joel Kapembwa and FAZ secretary general Adrian Kashala on Thursday, the two parties held a meeting which was chaired by sports minister Emmanuel Mulenga and both agreed to iron out their outstanding issues.
“The FAZ Executive led by president, Mr Andrew Kamanga pledged to work closely with the Ministry of Youth Sport and Child Development in ensuring the development of football in Zambia and achieve positive results for all the teams,” reads the statement.
The parties also agreed that administrative matters which the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development was handling would be dealt with expeditiously in the interest of football.
This includes the matter relating to regularising the contract for the national team coach.
During the meeting, FAZ gave its account on the electoral process, detailing some of the areas that had sparked a lot of controversy.
The joint statement added that the FAZ executive also shed light on the constitution amendments and appealed to the Ministry of Sports to consider establishing a sports arbitration tribunal.
“The Executive also outlined the Constitutional Amendments, Electoral Committee and Electoral College that were ratified by the FAZ Council. FAZ further pledged to fully update the Ministry of Sports through the National Sports Council of Zambia (NSCZ) about the electoral process,” reads the statement.
“The FAZ Executive also appealed to the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development to expedite the conclusion of the Memorandum of Understanding with FAZ on the upgrading of selected provincial sports centres, indicating that time was of essence and that, if there was further delay, Zambia risked not accessing funds from the FIFA Infrastructure Development Project.
Further, the FAZ executive appealed to the ministry to consider establishing a Sports Arbitration Tribunal under the National Sports Council of Zambia to help resolve some of the challenges facing various sports federations at local level.”
And Mulenga committed to providing policy and legal guidance in the administration of football while Kamanga reiterated his executive committee’s commitment to working with government to develop football in Zambia.
Others in attendance were permanent secretary Joe Kapembwa, sports director John Zulu, his deputy Cade Chikobo, and NSCZ acting general secretary Raphael Mulenga.
The FAZ delegation included vice-president Rix Mweemba, Kashala, and his deputy Joseph Chimpampwe.
According to the statement, the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere with both parties candidly expressing their thoughts and views.