By SHAMAOMA MUSONDA –
WITH just a year before the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) holds its quadrennial elections, Nchanga Rangers and Afrisports have proposed that only people who have served in the FAZ executive should contest the presidency.
According to a circular sent to all clubs and signed by FAZ general secretary George Kasengele, Rangers had written FAZ to amend the constitution to put restrictions on presidential candidates.
The current FAZ constitution states that any person who has been an official at club level for five years can contest the FAZ presidency.
“Nchanga Rangers have proposed that for a councillor to stand as a president of the Football Association of Zambia, he /she must have served in the FAZ executive as an executive committee member,” the circular states.
The Afrisports proposal states that: “One of the qualifications for one to stand as FAZ president is that, one must have served in FAZ either as an executive committee member, treasurer or vice president before.”
This constitutional amendment proposal will, however, be presented to the FAZ council which will convene in Kabwe next weekend for the non-elective annual general meeting for confirmation.
The proposal looks to be in line with the controversial amendment to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) constitution made last year in Mauritius where the continental body said only CAF board members can vie for the presidency, a clause which FAZ president Kalusha Bwalya so vehemently defended.
Whereas the whole Africa protested this clause, Kalusha stated that it was a way of protecting CAF from people with no interest in the game from springing up from ‘nowhere’ to contest the continental top job.
The FAZ circular also stated that Rangers were also proposing an attachment of fees to people vying for various positions.
Rangers want presidential aspirants to pay a nomination fee of K25,000 with K20,000 for the vice-president, while candidates for treasurer and committee members should part away with K15,000 and K10,000, respectively.
Meanwhile, GWEN CHIPASULA reports that Kalusha has said Zambia should not worry about the FIFA ban handed on Zimbabwe over unpaid dues to a coach, saying that case and the local issue where FAZ owes former coach Dario Bonetti in unpaid dues were different.
While declining to state more, Kalusha said there was no need for football fans to worry because Zambia was not Zimbabwe.
He said it would not be prudent to comment on a matter that FIFA was handling because the world football governing body had written FAZ and the issue was being ably handled.
The FAZ chief also denied the association was in contact with Bnnetti.
Kalusha said Bonetti decided to take the matter to FIFA and it would be unethical for FAZ to comment on the matter or even communicate with the Italian trainer.
“FIFA has already written to us as FAZ and the association already knows what is required to do,” he said.
FAZ and Bonetti have been at loggerheads since the Italian left the coaching role unceremoniously in 2011 soon after qualifying Zambia to 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.
He was replaced by Frenchman Hervé Renard, the man he had taken over the mantle from, but FAZ contested the claim for compensation, stating the Italian never had a contract with FAZ.
Bonetti took the matter to FIFA who ruled that the coach should be paid.
Zimbabwe was last week kicked out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers over unpaid dues to their former coach Jose Claudinei Georgini.