ZAMBIA Soccer Fans Association (ZSFA) has appealed to Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) to adequately prepare the Shepolopolo ahead of the African Women Championship (AWC) qualifier against Namibia on March 5.
ZSFA patron Peter Makembo said women football had the potential to bring medals to the nation but is not given top priority by the soccer body.
“Women football has suffered discrimination in the last few years. There is gender inequality in the disbursement of resources. Our plea this time is for FAZ to ensure the Shepolopolo are adequately prepared and have enough resources.
‘‘It’s inhuman to keep condemning the women when they fail to perform yet they are not motivated. There must be change this time,” Makembo said.
He challenged the aspiring FAZ candidates to fulfill their ‘‘sweet promises’’ of changing women’s football in Zambia once voted into office. “Many candidates have promised to ensure women football players receive allowances once voted into office. I hope that is not mere rhetoric to win the councillors’ votes. They should be ready to inspire the young women,” he said.
Makembo said the players’ passion is what has seen Zambia make a maiden appearance at the 2014 AWC tournament.
He said FAZ should include the budget for women this year to ensure that all lined-up fixtures are fulfilled.
“It took a protest for the players to get an allowance after their return from the 2014 AWC in Namibia. This time, FAZ should draft a budget that will have women in it. Women are equal partners in the development of football in Zambia, hence should not be sidelined,” he said.
He appealed to the players not to lose focus but qualify for the African tournament.
Makembo called on the women to support the team as they aim to conquer Africa.
The Shepolopolo begin their training today with coach Albert Kachinga emphasizing discipline and hard work.