THE 2013 International Castle Sevens has failed to take place because the sponsors, Zambian Breweries are not ready to pump in money in this year’s event.
Zambia Rugby Union (ZRU) president, Martin Musunka explained in an interview yesterday that his union could not stage the annual event this year because the sponsors were not ready to sponsor the competition.
Musunka was reacting to concerns from former Lusaka Rugby Club vice-chairperson Mubanga Chanda who expressed worry over failure by the ZRU to host the annual International Castle Sevens tournament for the second year running.
Chanda said it was sad that the annual tournament, which was one of the major events on the ZRU calendar, could not be held successively, adding that it raises questions about the ability of the union’s capacity to run the sport.
He said failure to host such a popular tournament for two successive years sends a strong signal and insight on the part of the current executive lead by Musunka, whom he said had shown serious lack of foresight in administering the game.
Chanda said the cancellation also sent out a wrong and bad picture to the sponsors and the International Rugby Board (IRB) about Zambia’s capacity to run the sport.
“The current executive claim that the sponsor namely Zambian Breweries, is to blame for the reason of hosting the tournament is unfounded and a falsehood, a scheme intended to pass the buck. We wonder how the whole ZRU president could again inform the rugby public that the tournament will not be hosted because of logistical issues. Surely, where was the planning? Praise must be given to the past administrators in particular the Lusaka Rugby Club as host, who successfully run this tournament that was seen by Government as one of the best run international events in the country,” Chanda said.
He said Musunka had failed to show any meaningful programme to push and improve the sport with no youth development programmes running, coupled by the executive’s failure to attract corporate sponsorship.
But Musunka wondered in what capacity Chanda was speaking, saying the former Lusaka Rugby Club secretary was not representing any constituency, adding that had he been an affiliate, he would have been at the weekend ZRU general meeting in Kabwe where the issue of the International Castle Sevens was discussed in detail.
The ZRU boss challenged Chanda to contest next February’s elective annual general meeting (AGM) if he wanted to contribute meaningfully to the Union.