FOOTBALL Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Kalusha Bwalya says he will not be answerable to former Chipolopolo coach Dario Bonnetti but the world football governing body FIFA in the dispute to pay the Italian.
Kalusha said in an interview at the National Heroes Stadium that FAZ has been communicating with FIFA over the former Chipolopolo coach’s money and will not talk back to Bonnetti.
“I will not comment on Bonnetti’s matter because he took the matter to court and it will be unethical for me to talk about it,” he said.
Kalusha said FIFA has written to FAZ on the matter and the association has responded, which he deems as the right procedure.
“Commenting on such matters just explains the character of the man. I will not communicate to Bonneti but FIFA,” he said. Bonetti, who was fired by FAZ in 2011 despite meeting his contractual obligations of qualifying Chipolopolo to the Africa Cup, filed a compensation claim with FIFA, FAZ and the Italian FA, claiming US$1.6 million.
In April 2013, FIFA ruled that FAZ should pay Bonetti US$382,000.
Last October, FIFA issued a 90-day ultimatum to FAZ, directing the association to pay Bonetti or face a ban from international competitions.
Asked whether the matter poses a threat to Zambia after Zimbabwe was banned from the 2018 World Cup qualifiers for failing pay to their national team coach, Kalusha said Zambia was not Zimbabwe.
“It does not threaten us if Zimbabwe was banned because Zambia is not Zimbabwe,” the FAZ chief said.
FIFA‘s disciplinary committee said they took action against Zimbabwe as a result of non-payment of an outstanding debt by the Zimbabwe Football Federation to former coach Jose Claudenei Georgini.