FAZ slams Katumbi over Rainford Kalaba, Nathan Sinkala and Stopilla Sunzu

Zambian international defender Stoppila Sunzu

THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has expressed disappointment with the statement attributed to TP Mazembe proprietor Moses Katumbi over the three Zambian players that failed to travel to China for an international friendly against Brazil last week.
Katumbi has threatened to report FAZ to FIFA over the mistreatment of the three Zambian players whose passports were seized by the Immigration officers last Friday for allegedly leaving the country illegally.
FAZ communications manager Erick Mwanza said in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday that the Katanga governor’s allegations were unfortunate.
“We’ve always enjoyed good relations with TP Mazembe which out of their own volition have decided to abrogate. TP Mazembe and Mr Katumbi should engage in serious introspection and check the conduct of its officials before accusing FAZ of issues which are completely out of its jurisdiction.
“Mr Katumbi’s comments over the players and their present plight clearly shows how uninformed he is over the processes and procedures of the association, matters of Zambian law and how we engage with different clubs and our nationals plying their trade in different parts of the world,” Mwanza said.
He said it is not in the interest and desire of FAZ to exchange words with the club over a matter in which the Congolese giants acted unprofessionally and at variance with the rules of the game.
“The public may not be privy to some overtures from Mazembe who last week pleaded with the association for review of the matter before FIFA and requested pardon; this we have not made known as well as other undertakings out of the mutual understanding we have previously enjoyed.
“For the information of Mr Katumbi and Mazembe, what is presently happening to the three players is of concern to us as they face serious allegations before the Immigration Department; a situation caused by the actions of the club and its representatives,” he said.
Mwanza said matters that impinge on the laws of the land are not under the jurisdiction of the Football Association of Zambia but subject to the Zambian constitution and implemented by various agencies of the state.
He said FAZ has no jurisdiction over the immigration department whatsoever and what they do is beyond the association.
“Further, FAZ is not in charge of controlling national borders, enforcing national security and immigration law. These are governed by relevant Acts of Parliament and enforced by authorities who as stated above are not subject to FAZ or FIFA’s laws of the game,” Mwanza said.