Football fans praise govt. for paying Bonneti

Dario Bonetti
Dario Bonetti

Soccer fans have praised government for releasing K3.2 million to pay off the outstanding debt which the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) owes former national team coach Dario Bonneti.

Zambia Sports Fans Association (ZSFA) patron Peter Makembo said government should be commended for sparing the country from a possible ban from the Football International Federation Association (FIFA) as a result of the debt.

In an interview with ZANIS Sports in Lusaka yesterday, Makembo however said FAZ should have consulted government on issues pertaining to Bonetti as his contract directly involved government.

And Makembo has urged FAZ to learn a lesson from Bonneti’s saga and ensure that it gives the current national team coach Honour Janza a contract.

Makembo said government has demonstrated its commitment that it will not interfere in the FAZ operations hence the need for FAZ to ensure it efficiently handle coaches’ contracts.

Zambia survived a possible FIFA ban after the Ministry of Finance released K3.2 million to pay outstanding debt owed to the Italian born coach Dario Bonneti.

FIFA had set August 2015 for a disciplinary hearing after Zambia defied a FIFA Court of arbitration which ruled that Bonneti should be paid what is owed to him.

In October 2011, FAZ fired Bonetti on what it termed poor run of results and team selection despite qualifying the Chipolopolo to the 2012 Africa cup of nation’s championship.

Earlier, Sports Minister Vincent Mwale told Parliament in a ministerial statement that FAZ did not consult government when terminating Bonneti’s contract.

Mwale also said FAZ defied government’s advice against terminating Bonneti’s contract because the latter was reportedly imposed on FAZ by government.

Earlier this month, the FIFA disciplinary committee expelled Zimbabwe from the preliminary competition of the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup for failure to settle the outstanding debt owed to that country’s former national team coach José Claudinei Georgin.