Makembo hopes govt, FAZ reconciliation genuine

FAZ life member Peter Makembo says he hopes the reconciliation between FAZ and the Ministry of Sports is genuine.

Last week, the Ministry of Sports and the Football Association of Zambia issued a joint statement in which they agreed to iron out sticking issues between them.

The parties agreed that administrative matters which the Ministry of Sport 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.

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.”

Commenting on the development, Makembo said such was his prayer.

“That direction I commend the Minister of Sports to say he is moving in a right direction to bring stakeholders together,” Makembo said.

He noted that the Minister of Sports was a major stakeholder in sports.

“So we do not need to go in parallel, we must move in one line and that one line is what we have seen; they are trying to bring their heads together,” said Makembo.

“So we hope things change quickly because right now the coach has no contract and we don’t know if he will stay or not so these are things that need to be looked at quickly but we hope what we are being told is the truth and it must remain like that. No one should be complaining, next time they should invite me in that meeting so that no one will say no we told this one this but he is not doing this, there must be an observer.”

Meanwhile, the resolve by FAZ and the ministry to mend relations has excited Chingola based football administrator Blackwell Siwale.

Siwale has welcomed the move taken by both camps.

“For me, it’s a welcome move. This is what we all wanted to see, it is what we have been crying for, except that our colleagues wanted to behave as if they belong more to FIFA than being Zambians in the first place and operating under laws of the land and now that it is like this, it is a good move for Zambian football,” he said.

Siwale added that he was more delighted that FAZ is coming up with the Arbitration Tribunal which would completely stop administrators going to courts of law.

“What is more enlightening is the fact that in our consultative meeting, we agreed setting up of the national arbitration tribunal which has not been in existence since the constitution was not amended, despite it being a requirement under article 53. We are happy that FAZ wants that arbitration tribunal constituted because it will stop people completely from going to courts of law which is against the FIFA statutes and that being the case, it also avoid people from going to CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sports) because it is very expensive. I am sure national arbitration, anyone else can manage to go and be heard. So we are excited that there is something happening for football development,” he said.

“I am urging them to keep their words as per agreement, the statement they issued jointly. Then again if they don’t honor the statement they consented to, it will show who does not mean well for Zambian football.”

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