THE PRESIDENT OF THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA
MR KALUSHA BWALYA
ON THE OCCASION OF THE FAZ PRESIDENT’S PRESS CONFERENCE
ON MONDAY 26 JANUARY 2009
FOOTBALL HOUSE, LUSAKA
Executive Committee Members present
Dear ladies and gentlemen of the media,
Firstly, let me thank God I am here today. May I pay tribute to those people who make and have made incredible contribution to lift this game of ours.
Welcome to Football House and please accept my sincere and warm greetings of what is still a new year and my best wishes for all of you in all that you endeavour to do and achieve in 2009 and beyond.
As we get underway, allow me to share with you an inspirational note which is true to many situations we encounter every day.
I believe ladies and gentlemen that “Only our actions provide the truest answers.”
Football is our passion and every Zambian is passionate about it because we are a country with a great soccer heritage. It is our way of life. The love that we have for the game is what has seen us spend entire lives in it and continue to serve and serve it to the best of our ability.
With the dawn of a new year, we have new challenges to look forward to. Challenges which put us firmly on the road to taking our game to the highest level that we all desire.
Football Association of Zambia today, we have men and women who are dedicated to that call of duty and will continue to put in 200% and even do more to ensure that we succeed both on and off the field.
We have every required attribute, ability, understanding and know-how to take us forward.
We have set out our new vision, mission and clear objectives of where we want to take our football – the highest level on the continent and the world! The implementation of the various development programmes can only be quickened with more hard work and dedication to duty and the cause of our football.
With that we spell out again our working motto of Eyes on the Ball; we are set to taking Zambian Football into a new dawn and reigniting the passion of each and every Zambian for their National Teams. Through implementation of the programmes set out, we are geared to tap into the mission we have set out as we undertake to restore Zambia to the place we were before.
Working with you and all stakeholders involved in our football, we believe we can achieve many great things for Zambia.
FAZ ACTION POINTS
Over the coming weeks, the Football Association of Zambia hopes to engage a Technical Director who will be in charge of spearheading football development in the country.
He will have a specific mandate to pay particular and special attention to grassroots football development across the country. It is universal knowledge that success at the grassroots which encompasses tapping and developing talent at all levels and putting in place right administrative attributes is a recipe for success at the top and highest levels. We are going that route and with a new Technical Director, that development can only be accelerated.
We can then begin to plan to groom players and stars that will take us to the FIFA World Cup and Nations Cup finals in 2014, 2018 and even beyond.
TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES
Going into 2009 and beyond, the Football Association of Zambia will continue and even intensify the training of referees, coaches and administrators because these are key components of development.
• Training of Coaches
o At the start of 2009, we have continued from the success of the training programmes we initiated last year. We recently trained 30 coaches in partnership with the KNVB in an advanced programme with instructor Mr. Piet Dejong. Similar programmes will continue throughout the year in line with FIFA’s Win in Africa for Africa project.
• Training of Referees
o Referees are important for the game. You cannot play without them so without referees, there would be no football. In that line, we would like to encourage our players, officials and fans to embrace the FIFA slogan of RESPECT and support our men and women to handle our matches so that together we develop the game.
o We are also happy that standards of our officials continue to go up as evidenced by the progression of some officials on the FIFA panel and their appointment for advanced training so that at events such as the Nations Cup and FIFA World Cup we might stand a better chance of having Zambian participating.
• Training of Administrators
o We are looking at training programmes for administrators at all levels of the game especially club level so that we equip our men and women running clubs and associations at the districts, provinces and academies with necessary skills, data and knowledge of football management. Pronouncements as to when these will be done will be made soon.
CONSTITUTION REVIEW AND LONG TERM PLANNING
Soon we will embark on a review of the FAZ constitution involving all stakeholders of our game. This is important for our long term planning and realization of the goals which we have set as priorities in the development of Zambian football.
We will detail these procedures and proceedings as soon as we possibly can.
Hand in hand with the constitution review will be a workshop or seminar for various stakeholders running our game. This is important because it will bring us together to enhance the sharing and exchange of ideas that will see us move forward more united and focused on success for Zambian football.
The current constitution has holes which tend to contradict the current running of the game. This has resulted in some members of the Association taking advantage of the weaknesses in the system. The Association will therefore be calling upon the Constitutional Review Committee to strengthen the weaknesses and ensure that it conforms in line with FIFA Statutes.
FOOTBALL HOUSE CAPACITY BUILDING & RESTRUCTURING
The Executive Committee is desirous of a very hard working Secretariat; a dedicated team of men and women who will carry the vision of the new FAZ Executive Committee and work tirelessly to implement the various programmes which we have set in motion and others we are yet to launch.
In that regard, we will ensure that we introduce an education support policy for all staff at Football House.
This new policy is important because it will assist the staff acquire, update and grasp latest development trends in their respective fields which will in turn benefit the work of Football House and football development as a whole.
We will also introduce a code of conduct for staff at the FAZ
Hard work, transparency, accountability and selfless service remain the hallmarks of Football House.
In line with building capacity at Football House, the Executive Committee is committed to restructuring the Secretariat in line with our vision. With the restructuring and reorganization done, Football House operations should be enhanced to make it more effective and responsive to the needs of the modern day game.
PROVINCIAL FOOTBALL DEVELOPMENT OFFICES
In spreading the reach of our national football development’s agenda, the Football Association of Zambia intends to set up and strengthen the Provincial Football structures.
These will be centres from where we can have firm foothold into provincial football activities.
We are confident that by the end of the year, a number of these provincial offices will be opened and fully functional.
KCM SPONSORSHIP OF NATIONAL TEAM COACH SALARY
The Konkola Copper Mines has made known to us their decision to suspend the payment of our national soccer team coach’s salary citing the current global financial crisis.
Going forward, the Football Association of Zambia will take necessary steps to see how best we can deal with the situation.
We are alive to the difficult task ahead of us but we are optimistic that this will not derail our football going into the 2010 FIFA World Cup and Nations Cup qualifiers which get underway in March 2009.
FAZ TECHNICAL CENTRE
Our new and modern technical centre is nearing completion. Final touches remain but these should be completed over the coming month. The FAZ would therefore like to appeal and invite well wishers and football development oriented individuals, organisations and individuals who want to be part of the great history of our game to partner with us in the final construction stage we are in.
Partners can come in to work with the Football Association to furnish the place so that we can make it a complete and fully functioning centre.
The centre is a significant asset to football in Zambia because with its opening the FAZ will cut down on the huge budget and costs that go with the camping of the various teams as we prepare for different tournaments.
Our projection is that by March 2009, the centre will be open for use by the national teams.
MOVEMENT OF PLAYERS ABROAD
We have been worried and disappointed at the advice some of our players have been given recently. This is in regard to the movements we have seen over the past few weeks.
We are resolved as FAZ to get to the bottom of these movements and establish if the players have the left the country and abandoned national duty on their own accord or have done so with their respective club officials and agents.
As a start, we have directed the Secretariat to write to all the clubs involved to render reports on the movements of these players.
We have every reason to believe that all those involved in these player movements understand the procedures involved in getting players out of the country and should therefore abide by such rules.
Failure to abide by the laid down rules and regulations will call for sanctions by the Football Association of Zambia. As such, we will put in place stringent measures and firmly act against any body not following the laid down procedure.
We would like to emphasise that no one will stop any player from pursuing professional careers but right procedures should be followed.
One of the problems we have noticed is the failure by clubs to enter into contracts with their players. This has resulted in problems when players have gone abroad and signed contracts without the knowledge of their clubs here.
We advice clubs to endeavour to enter into binding contracts with the players which can be referred to if and when a player wants to go abroad or indeed leave the club.
Prior to the last games of 2008, FIFA inspected the Konkola Stadium, the venue we have embraced for our 2010 FIFA World and Africa Cup qualifiers.
Ahead of the start of the third and final round of qualifying for the Africa Zone 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, we should not be caught by surprise if FIFA sent people again to inspect the stadium to check if we have managed to maintain the minimum and basic standard required for the hosting of these games.
It is therefore important that we keep working hard to maintain the stadium in a state that will continue to pass these inspections. We need to work hard together to stop any possible acts of vandalism. This is important because it means we will not have to continue investing in attending to the same aspects of the infrastructure before every game.
We need to work together with football authorities based on the Copperbelt, the Ministry of Sports and KCM.
INDEPENDENCE STADIUM ARTIFICIAL TURF
We are happy that work to put a new and artificial turf has progressed very well at the Independence Stadium.
A quality pitch is in place and the final phase stands in the way of the handover to the Football Association of Zambia. This should be done in the coming few weeks. With that stage done, the use of the stadium will now only await the reconstruction of the grand stand and the Chipolopolo will be ready to return to the arena.
Over the last half of the ended year and at the start of 2009, the football family has been discussing this matter which culminated in a report by the National Sports Council of Zambia to the Minister of Sports.
We are disappointed that Emmanuel Mayuka’s transfer has been blown out of proportion. The FAZ is not involved in player transfer negotiations and only come in to issue an ITC following a request from a FIFA member association and in Emmanuel Mayuka’s case, the ITC request came from the Israel Football Association. This has been standard procedure and Emmanuel’s transfer is no exception.
However, in view of the fact that there seems to be a continued dispute over Emmanuel’s transfer to Israel, as a worldwide standard football procedure, the Football Association of Zambia will now proceed to forward the matter to the FIFA Players’ Status Committee for determination.
FINAL LEAGUE STANDINGS – 2008 SOCCER SEASON
The Executive Committee discussed this matter extensively at its last meeting and agreed to find a constitutional solution to the final outcome of the 2008 league standings.
To this effect, a Tribunal will be appointed within this week to look at the many issues that surfaced after the Appeals Committee ruling on the matter brought by Nchanga Rangers Football Club against Chambishi Blackburn Football Club.
An arbitration tribunal is one of the three judicial bodies under the Football Association; the other two being the Disciplinary Committee and the Appeals Committee. And no member of the FAZ Executive Committee sits on any of them.
We are happy that some of our members faced with grievances either among themselves or with the Football Association have followed the laid down procedures. This is how it should be.
We wish to encourage members and administrators of the clubs to continuously keep themselves abreast with the FAZ Constitution, rules and regulations and FIFA Statutes.
Members should also adopt these grievance procedures in dealing and settling internal disputes in their clubs and associations without resorting to public name calling and character assassination.
One of the tests of a civilized society or entity is to follow their own rules in resolving conflicts or disputes because conflicts and disputes are always going to be there.
THE 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP & NATIONS CUP QUALIFIERS
The 2010 FIFA World Cup and Nations Cup qualifiers are most important to Zambia. These games come once in four years and they are now here with us.
We are paying attention to these games and our focus and energies will be on these matches so that we ensure that we have a good run.
We would therefore like to urge all stakeholders and supporters, the Government, corporates, individuals and every football loving follower to support the Football Association and the Chipolopolo as we do battle on behalf of Zambia.
In football anything is possible and we therefore remain confident that we can qualify for the Africa Cup as well as have a good run for a place at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. We are aware that Egypt remains the bookmakers’ favourites but we have a chance just like every other team in the group to qualify.
Our commitment and resolve is to prepare the team in the best possible way. And good preparations go hand in hand with playing good preparatory games which this Executive Committee has committed itself to.
That commitment has been demonstrated over the last six months with quality games in Libya, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Morocco among destinations where the Chipolopolo have played as well as the training camp in Germany.
We will never be afraid to play the so called big teams or World Cup squads because it is only by playing them that we will expose our boys to the best and climb the FIFA ladder of success.
THE CHAN CHAMPIONSHIP
FEBRUARY 22 TO MARCH 8 – COTE D’IVIORE
Our preparations are on course and we are happy with the quality of opponents in our group, we look forward to a good tournament.
On Tuesday night we play South Africa in continued preparations for these finals.
After the game against South Africa, we continue with preparations to the opening game on February 22.
Beyond the difficulties we face lie God’s great miracles and possibilities. Dream Bigger!
Yes We Can!
Dreams are achievable. Let us live that dream together.
Yes We Can.
I thank you and God bless you.