THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) should not be complacent in synchronising its statutes with FIFA and CAF requirements because sanctions will be painful to bear, says the Zambia National Soccer Fans Association (ZNFA) president Musonda Mwaume.
The advice comes after FIFA warned that Zambia would be suspended from all global and continental competitions if it failed to meet the 31 March 2017 extended deadline to bring its statutes in line with FIFA and CAF requirements
But Mwaume told the Daily Nation Sports that FAZ should ensure that it put its house in order before the new deadline put by FIFA because Zambians would not take it kindly if the country faced sanctions over things it was able to avoid. Mwaume said FAZ had no choice but to ensure that the conditions set out by CAF and FIFA were met because those were requirements that all member associations needed to meet for the smooth running of the sport.
“The earlier we resolve that, the better. FAZ should ensure that everything is done within this remaining time and should also engage the clubs because they don’t know what these conditions are about. “There will be no excuse for us to face sanction because Zambians will not take such a development lightly. It is easy now but when sanctions come, they are painful,” said Mwaume said.
And Mwaume has lauded FAZ for bringing in Wedson Nyirenda in the place of George Lwandamina as interim coach and advised him to cast his net wider as he chose national team players.
That was important because fans were tired of “tired legs” which were still basking in the 2012 AFCON glory without realising that a lot was at stake. “Nyirenda should have disbanded the national team and come up with a new one because those tired legs are not taking us anywhere and we do not have time for that,
“ We will ask him to watch all the players across the country so that he can get the best options which will win us matches,” he said.
Meanwhile there was jubilation in Nigeria after FIFA warning with the local media saying it would have a psychological effect on Zambian players as they face the Supper Eagles next week.
The Nigerian media found solace in the outstanding employment of Gordon Igesund as Chipolopolo trainer and the pending FIFA sanctions on Zambia as a catalyst that will win the Supper Eagles their opening match in the World Cup qualifiers against Zambia next week.
On Sunday, the Sun newspaper wrote: “Nigeria’s 2018 FIFA World Cup opponent, Zambia, may be heading down a collision course with major football authorities and more trouble to the advantage of the Super Eagles. The Chipolopolo are struggling to finalize the deal with former Bafana Bafana coach, Igesund as official confirmation of his appointment is still held up by the major financier of FAZ – the government.
“But a bigger problem emerged this week when world governing body, FIFA, issued a statement citing interference with the statutes, which could lead to the Southern African nation and 2012 African champions suspended,” read the paper in part.