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‘Marriage still strong’ – FAZ says it still has a strong relationship with Government

By MICHAEL MIYOBA

THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) says it still enjoys a strong relationship with government through the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Arts.

FAZ general secretary Reuben Kamanga said FAZ held a meeting with Ministry of Sports Youth and Arts Permanent Secretary Kangwa Chileshe who reaffirmed the government’s commitment to ensure that football succeeds.

Speaking when he featured on Hot FM radio yesterday, Kamanga thanked President Hakainde Hichilema for his personal commitment in ensuring that FAZ and its programmes were supported. “We enjoy a very strong relationship with Government. As a matter of fact, we had a very good meeting with the PS (permanent secretary Kangwa Chileshe) on Thursday and you could see that the entire ministry wants football to succeed, they want football to unite the stakeholders. In theory, people think the relationship is not strong but in reality, we have a strong relationship,” Kamanga said.

“Along the way there could be some hurdles, some patches or infractions but the strong point is that we have a very solid relationship with the ministry and we will manage that relationship with the Ministry of Sport,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kamanga said FAZ has made significant progress on the naturalisation of United States-based Chipolopolo defender Aime Mabika.

Mabika has been named in the Chipolopolo squad that will host the Elephants of Ivory coast on June 17 at Levy Mwanwasa Stadium in Ndola. “There is high level interaction at very senior level, we are almost at the end of the process. The process has been fast tracked, and the amount of work we have done in the last five days is massive and we should be able to see Mabika in the team,” Kamanga said.

On the FIFA World Cup-bound Copper Queens who are set to regroup this week, Kamanga said the association will give the team a send-off international friendly match on home soil prior to their departure for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup preparatory camp in Germany.

After the sendoff fixture in Lusaka, The Copper Queens will go on to face Republic of Ireland and Germany in friendly fixtures slated for June 22 and July 7 respectively.

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