SPORTS minister Emmanuel Mulenga is going to engage the Ministry of Home Affairs to prosecute all those defying the presidential directive on contact sports activities.
His statement comes after noticing individuals carrying on with football activities in various compounds in Lusaka amidst the COVID-19.
On Sunday, Zambia Sports Fans Association patron Peter Makembo with the help of the Zambia Police dispersed another football tournament in Lusaka’s Chinika ground.
Before dispersing the crowd, Makembo distributed 700 face masks to the footballers and the spectators.
Makembo, a FAZ life member, said the home-made face masks were a donation by National Olympic Committee president Alfred Foloko.
“I need you after this pandemic. Let’s not defy the presidential order, I know you all want to exercise but football is a contact sport. Let’s not fight this with ignorance, we are together and we will win together,” Makembo urged the players.
The players and fans talked to said it’s hectic staying at home given the economic hardships.
They said they play football to relax.
Blessings Kaonga, the captain for Amateur football club side, Kasa Bulls, and a qualified clinical officer, appealed to the government to consider unlocking football in the country because it is a source of income for many athletes.
“We all know that football is banned but it is one of the economic sectors that can bring revenue into this country and our appeal to the President is that he can also consider opening up football because this is the source of income for footballers and others,” said Kaonga.
However, Mulenga has called for a total ban of any sporting activity including social football across the country.
“I am calling for a total ban for all sports activities in the compounds because doing so is against President Edgar Lungu’s directives following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “We will engage home affairs [minister] Stephen Kampyongo so that all those defying the President’s directives can be prosecuted.”