‘Corrupt’ Nike deal saga deepens


TOP officials in the alleged corrupt Nike secret deal to reproduce Chipolopolo jerseys in China used Football Association of Zambia (FAZ)  documentation to  clear the replica jerseys when they arrived in Zambia from China to avoid paying tax, it was learnt yesterday.

A new source close to FAZ revealed that the officials in the Nike deal used FAZ documents for custom clearance because of its privilege of waived tax on sporting equipment by Government.

It has been learnt that the said officials only paid clearing charges through the infamous clearing agents.

“They used FAZ to clear the replica jerseys from China. They only paid  clearing charges. The replica jerseys from China were treated as sporting equipment,” the source said.

The source further revealed that the jerseys donated to State House staff by FAZ this year were in fact replicas and part of those reproduced in China.

It has also been learnt that close to 500,000 replica Chipolopolo jerseys have been sold in shops along Cairo Road owned by three FAZ members.

Meanwhile, FAZ licensing officer Erick Mwanza said on ZNBC TV Kwacha Good-Morning Zambia programme that the Nike sponsorship ‘‘deal was still on the table’’ for consideration.

Mwanza said FAZ had asked for a raise in the offer Nike put on the table and was still negotiating.

“The allegations have no truth it. We cannot just take any offer without thoroughly looking at it. For instance, if Nike says our offer is K100, 000, we can’t just sign but may ask for a better offer,” he said.

Mwanza also  told the Daily Nation that the FAZ emergency meeting called to discuss the issue will go on even if the whistle blower Kelvin Mutafu, who is FAZ treasurer, resigned from the post.

“The meeting will still go on even if he has resigned. We will discuss the matter and other important issues considering the number of international tournaments Zambia is competing in.

‘‘Our focus is to ensure Zambia qualifies to the World Cup and the Olympics,” he said.

Mutafu on Thursday told the Daily Nation that some top FAZ officials had formed a syndicate to reproduce the replica jerseys in China, sell them in Zambia secretly and share the spoils.

FAZ refuted the allegations and challenged Mutafu to provide evidence.

Categorized | Sport

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