Strike at Maseru sun hotel will threaten Chipopolo’s accomodation

Collins Mbesuma

THE persistent strike at the Maseru Sun hotel could threaten Chipolopolo’s accommodation when the team arrives in Maseru this morning for Sunday’s 2014 Brazil World cup qualifier against Lesotho.

And Chipolopolo defender Joseph Musonda who was suspended has been recalled to the team bringing the number of players to 24.

The strike action which started on Monday had sent panic in the Zambian advance delegation who have been making frantic efforts to reach an understanding with the owners of the hotel and the local Football Federation to try and fix the matter.

Chipolopolo’s arrival had already been delayed due to the strike action and yesterday, Sun International proprietors assured FAZ delegation leader Kelvin Mutafu and communications manager Eric Mwanza in a meeting that “worst case-scenario”,  the hotel which had been closed for five days would only be opened for the purpose of accommodating the team.

There are only two hotels that meet international standards in Lesotho, the closed Maseru Sun and the Lesotho Sun.

“Even Lesotho Sun is operating at half capacity because there are also striking, Maseru is still closed and the alternative they suggested, Victoria hotel does not meet the standards, Taking the team to that hotel is tantamount to a disaster…but we have been assured by the owners of the hotel, because this is not a problem of the local FA it’s a strike action but all the same, the team cannot be delayed any further, they assured us that the strike is ending today if it does not, worst case scenario, it will be opened only for the team,” FAZ spokesperson Eric Mwanza said after the meeting.

Mwanza and Mutafu who inspected the alternative Victoria hotel said it did not even the minimum standards to accommodate a team like Zambia.

“The hotel has no showers, the linen is bad, the food is bad, the toilets are bad, and the environment does not fit the players because partly it’s a Night club,” he said.

And Mwanza explained that Musonda had been called to the team because CAF decided to drop all yellow cards that players accumulated in the first round at the last Africa Cup.

Mwanza said Chipolopolo defender Stophilla Sunzu had fully recovered from the knee injury and would play on Sunday.

Chipolopolo yesterday moved from Johannesburg to Bloemfontein from where they would connect to Lesotho by road via a Hyundai luxury bus provided by the South African Football Association.

The team is expected in Maseru on Saturday at 10:00hours.