GOVERNMENT says performance of the national football team will not and has never been a measure of governance.

Responding to Matero PF member of parliament Miles Sampa who wanted to know why the national team was still performing poorly, Vice-President Nalumango pledged government support to the team.

‘’Football is a religion, your honour, in Zambia. In 2011 when PF formed government, within five months Zambia won the Africa Cup – first ever. When the new dawn government came in a few months ago we were all happy because within few months Zambia won the first World Cup game 2-nill against Mauritania,’’ said Sampa during the Vice-President’s question time in parliament yesterday. ‘’…Two weeks ago, Chipolopolo lost to Tunisia 2-nill, last night in Equatorial Guinea they lost again 2-nill. What will this new government do to ensure that a miracle happens and Zambia wins all the remaining games so that there can be happiness? The new dawn football team has become sunset before lunch, and it’s contagious.’’

In response, Vice-President Nalumango said Sampa was just playing politics.

He reminded Sampa that it was still the same national team that was losing when PF was in power.

‘’I do understand the importance of football in our country and how the honourable member feels. If football was an indicator of good things to come by government as the honourable member himself refereed to the fact that in 2011 the team won, and the ruling party didn’t follow that pattern…’’ Vice-President Nalumango said. ‘’The ruling party of the time, PF, if their governance…I think he was just doing politics, he has said really nothing in his question to address the issues that really are of concern to the Zambian people. There’s no time that football has been used as an indicator of issues of human rights, an indicator of economic development; an indicator of anything other than soccer itself. The honourable member may also wish to know that the team that is playing is the team that has been there with them. Is the member proposing that we should also change the team?’’

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