SOME unruly soccer fans on Sunday almost roughed up Zambia Sports Fans Association (ZSFA) patron Peter Makembo during the Zambia-Sudan match at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
Earlier in the day the fans were reported to have looked for Makembo at the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Airport, so that he could explain the alleged misuse of funds that Government gave tthose who travelled to Mozambique for the game between the Chipolopolo and the Mambas in the second leg of the 2016 African Nations Championship last month.
The fans stalked Makembo and entered through Gate E4 at the stadium before the match started and went to the stands where he and other fans were watching the game from but quick intervention by other fans that surrounded him prevented the situation from worsening.
However, the aggrieved fans remained resolute and hurled obscenities at him, accusing him of being partisan by supporting the Patriotic Front (PF) and allegedly stealing money which they were given by Government in October.
The group only left the stands after they realised that police had been notified of their unruly behaviour and were mobilising in readiness to ambush them.
And when contacted for a comment, Makembo expressed disappointment at the people who were accusing him of stealing the money and wondered why they had not reported him to investigative agencies if they had evidence that he had stolen the money.
“That issue started when we went to Mozambique for the CHAN qualifier in October. I was roughed up right at the airport on arrival in Mozambique over the same allegations.
‘‘I was only rescued by airport security personnel and other fans we travelled with. Everyone at the airport was surprised that we could start exchanging blows in a foreign country when we went there together,” Makembo said.
He said it was unfortunate that ungrateful fans were trying to demonise him over an issue he did not know when he had been organising for fans’ travel within and outside the country to watch matches.
He said it was wrong for the group to align him to the PF when the association was guided by the non-partisan policy which only allowed them to work with the government of the day.
“If they have evidence that I have stolen the money, I challenge them to report me to investigative wings to probe me instead of attacking me and I will provide all the necessary documents because our books are clean.
‘‘People should not be jealous of the fact that I am a good organiser but instead we need to consolidate efforts by working together. What happened last Sunday and that incident in Mozambique is unacceptable.
‘‘I have reported this issue to the deputy minister of Sports Ronald Chitotela and am sure these fans will be dealt with. These unruly fans must be banned from travelling with us because they are painting a bad picture,” he said.