Copper Queens Receive Standing Ovation at FAZ AGM
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics bound Copper Queens got a government instigated standing ovation at the 2021 FAZ Annual General Meeting.
And government has lauded the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) for the successful establishment of the women’s and youth football leagues across the country.
Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Permanent Secretary John Phiri says the Association’s resolve to develop women and youth football was admirable as it is in line with government’s resolve of developing grassroots football.
Speaking in a speech read on his behalf by National Sports Council of Zambia acting general secretary Raphael Mulenga, Phiri said Zambia is a football living and loving nation that has produced great players and coaches.
In celebrating success, Mulenga used the 2020/21 FAZ Annual General Meeting at Urban Bliss Hotel in Kabwe to call for a standing ovation from delegates for the Zambia Women’s National team’s qualification to the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“The effort of the Association in developing female football in the country is speaking for itself. We are delighted to see the female premier league coming into fruition, please keep it up FAZ and the members,” Mulenga added.
“Further, I would like to commend your association for coming up with a robust children and youth football leagues which is a clear demonstration that the future of Zambian football is indeed very bright, the FAZ leadership deserves a pat on the back.”
Mulenga said government will continue to partner with the Association as football had continued shaping and uniting the country since Independence.
“The government shall continue to encourage football administration to maintain effective ways of promoting the sport because this is the only way we can achieve more in the sport,” Mulenga said.
Mulenga encouraged the FAZ leadership to continue the path of good governance, transparency and democracy.
“You are encouraged to do everything possible to ensure that football in Zambia continues to lead in good organizational programmes and activities so that you can continue winning sponsorship from the private sector,” Mulenga said.
And FAZ president Andrew Kamanga said the executive committee was happy with the support government has given to the Association.
“We are grateful for the support that government continues to render to our game. We will repay this faith and support with good results,” Kamanga said.
Kamanga also disclosed to delegates that the technical bench was working on a robust program that includes incorporating players with Zambian heritage based in foreign countries.
The FAZ boss said while the 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers had been moved to September from June, the Association will actively use the June FIFA Window as it had already arranged high quality friendlies against top teams in Africa.
“So far, we have managed to organize matches against Senegal in Dakar and Cameroon. We are finalizing the third match and will announce in due course. We have committed to support them wholeheartedly in this endeavour,” Kamanga said.
“It is the desire of everyone, especially our patron President Edgar Chagwa Lungu to see our Chipolopolo back among the elite of the African game.”
On the possibility of fans returning to stadia, Kamanga said apart from FAZ striking strategic partnerships with bodies such as the Zambia Medical Association, the Association has regularly engaged the Ministry of Sport and the Ministry of Health.
“Our desire is to see stadia opened for soccer fans who are an integral part in the development of the local game. This is likely to be done in phases with the engagement of the Ministry of Health,” Kamanga said.