PRESIDENT’S CORNER: Our Transparency Crusade Gets International Endorsement
Dear football family, it is that time of the week when we interact and update you on the goings on in the football community. The last few days have been heart warming for me and everybody wishing our game to move forward especially in good governance. On a personal note, I had double blessings with CAF appointing me vice president of the Finance Committee while FIFA re-elected me to the now expanded Governance Audit and Compliance Committee. It is this show of faith that there is something we are doing right in revolutionizing the prudent management of resources. Our commitment to entrench the prudent management of resources through our pillars of transparency, accountability and integrity has just been re-invigorated.
We continue to reflect on some of the outcomes from the FAZ Annual General Meeting. The debate around the quota system for foreign players in our league has been warmly received and we hope that it marks a progressive turn for our game. It is not a one-day event but with commitment we believe that we will continue refining the quota system. It is not in any way viewed as a panacea of all our football problems but meant to help arrest the influx of foreign players that may not have any chance of playing elsewhere. We want to get the most competitive that play in their national teams or the top two-tier leagues in their native countries.
We are also happy that government has acceded to the demand to revise the 15-year leases given to us for the four provincial stadia earmarked for renovations. The Attorney General’s office has revised the leases to 20-year terms that will see Kaole (Luapula), Kasama (Northern), David Kaunda and Independence (North Western) stadia rehabilitated. Additionally, Maramba Stadium in Livingstone is also set to be revamped. Once we receive the lease agreement, we will notify FIFA so that they make the funds available for these projects.
Finally, our Chipolopolo will be in action during the FIFA window where they will play Senegal, Benin and Sudan. It is my executive committee’s desire to give the technical bench all the necessary support as they prepare for the September Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. It is not easy organizing international matches in a Covid-19 strewn environment. The technical bench has our blessings to re-enforce the squad with foreign players of Zambian heritage that are competitive and willing to don our colours. So far two have already heeded that call with Ntanzana Mayembe of Cardiff City already in the country. The same program has been extended to the Tokyo 2020 bound Copper Queens. We are in advanced stages of finalizing an international camp for the Copper Queens preceding their trip to Tokyo in July. We have no doubt when the team lines up against Brazil, Netherlands and China they will do us proud.
Have a productive week and remember to keep safe!