FAZ president Andrew Kamanga has reminded councillors about where they have come from and where they are now, as his only challenger Emmanuel Munaile says everything favours the incumbent.
Kamanga, who is defending his position at tomorrow’s elective annual general meeting against Munaile, said councillors have seen what changes his administration has brought in the four years he has been in power.
He said it was important for councillors not to forget what they used to get before he ascended to the helm of Zambian football.
“We increased the sponsorship from MTN. All the clubs previously or most of the clubs, other than the champions, second and third, they used to get as low as K7,000. But we changed that and said all super division teams will be entitled to a participation fee of K200,000,” he said in an interview. “So, you can see a huge jump from K7,000 to K200,000. We didn’t change the sponsorship, we just changed how we were going to share the cake.”
He urged councillors to judge him based on what he had done in the last four years.
Kamanga further asked those challenging him to state how much they would give clubs, compared to what he has done so far, rather than attacking him as a person.
“I will be judged based on what I have done in the four years. If the members feel what we have given them is still not good enough, it’s up to them to make a decision. But we should always remember: where were we before and where are we going?” he said.
Kamanga said for every money that the association was making, the first priority was the game and its members.
He confidently said there has never been a FAZ administration before his that has given so much to its members.
“Going forward, we need to build on this base. We are now going to give provincial division one a grant of K15,000, provincial division two K10,000, division three K7,500; and in those provinces where they will introduce division four, they will still retain a K5,000,” he said.
And Kamanga said the idea to lessen the financial burden on lower division clubs was to ensure that they concentrated on developing the game.
He said after decentralising the association to make it available in all the 10 provinces, he expected all of them to come with junior teams.
“The biggest advantage is that we are giving autonomy to the provincial leaders to organise and manage football in the best way they see fit in their provinces. We have given autonomy to the provinces to decide how they will zone the provinces looking at the distance so that you mitigate the cost of transportation,” Kamanga explained. “We are going further to change the national selection because we are saying in all the 10 provinces there should be under 13, under 15, under 17, under 19 and under 21 provincial teams so that at national level if we are looking for an under 17 team, we are going to have an opportunity to bring 10 teams from the provinces to compete for the national team places.”
Apart from improving the benefits of FAZ members, Kamanga said his administration had managed to restore sanity at Football House.
He said there are no more player transfer wrangles facilitated by FAZ officials as it used to be previously.
Meanwhile, Munaile accused Kamanga of dishing out favours ahead of the AGM.
“At the moment everything favours Kamanga because he is the incumbent. He is dishing out favours. This week, this is when they were disbursing COVID-19 funds; they’re doing things deliberately,” Munalie said.
He also said it has been difficult to campaign due to uncertainties on when elections would be held.
Munaile added that councillors have seen what Kamanga has done in his four years in office and will make a decision whether to retain him or not.
“The campaigns were going on very well till elections were postponed. But it became a challenge when the court cases came in and it was resource draining. Kamanga has been in office for [almost] five years and the councillors will judge if they still want him to continue,” said Munaile.
But there have been late twists to the usual drama, with the National Sports Council of Zambia holding a meeting with FAZ on Wednesday morning to discuss the FIFA letter and aggrieved party’s unresolved issues.
FAZ later communicated to FIFA and another meeting was lined up for yesterday with the aggrieved party to put all matters to rest so that there is a smooth AGM as per NSCZ statement issued on Wednesday afternoon.