Spread matches

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Mail by Online Editor on 6/22/13

SOME three weeks ago, a soccer fan called me asking why the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) decided to stage two big matches on the same day in Lusaka.
I declined to comment and referred his query to the FAZ secretariat.
He wondered why FAZ was giving fans ‘headaches’ to choose which games to watch.
The games in question involved Green Buffaloes against Zesco United at Woodlands Stadium and Zanaco versus Nchanga Rangers at Sunset Stadium.
This fan was brought up in Chingola and he wanted to watch ‘Brave’ Rangers in action but he also wanted to be part of the excitement at Woodlands Stadium.
He ended up at Woodlands Stadium.
The two matches were potential crowd-pullers and FAZ could have moved the other match to Sunday.
Time is ripe for Super Division matches to be spread during the week as well as over weekends.
It will not do to have all the eight matches in the Super Division played on a traditional Saturday.
This is not a primary or secondary school league for teams to be restricted to playing on Saturdays only.
I am sure some teams would attract even bigger crowds by playing on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Multi-Choice Zambia facilitates live television coverage through SuperSport should help FAZ promote the idea of staggering some games on Wednesdays and Fridays apart from the traditional Saturdays.
If it is happening in South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Egypt and Nigeria, why won’t it happen here?
Since Zambia’s victory at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, fans troop to stadiums in numbers clad in club colours, which is a plus to raising profiles of teams.
In England, you would not expect Manchester United hosting Liverpool on the same day that neighbours Manchester City are playing Chelsea in the same city.
The two matches will be spread.
The Zambian league is one of the best in Africa and there is need to sustain this reputation.
Remember, our matches are screened on SuperSport and it is embarrassing to see a handful of people in the stands because of several matches in one city.
We need to show the continent that Zambians love football by filling all the space.
After all, Zambia is a soccer giant in Africa.
I salute the FAZ secretariat for spreading the matches involving Zanaco against Nkwazi and Green Buffaloes versus Red Arrows.
Zanaco welcomed Nkwazi yesterday while Buffaloes and Arrows battle it out today in an all-defence force affair.
This is how it should be.
Starting on July 6, Zambia will be hosting the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) Castle Senior Challenge Cup.
The tournament will be staged in Kitwe, Lusaka and Ndola and the 20 players summoned should seize the opportunity to do the country proud.
With the crucial 2014 Brazil World Cup match against Ghana in 76 days time, there is need for the players to take the COSAFA tournament seriously so that coach Herve Renard could have a number of good players at his disposal for selection for the match in Kumasi.
The national team is not only for foreign-based stars but for local players as well.
With ‘live ammunition’ Ghana can kiss dust at Baba Yara Stadium.
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