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‘READY FOR DIALOGUE’ 

By MICHAEL MIYOBA 

WARRING football administrators have welcomed the directive by President Hakainde Hichilema for the parties involved in the FAZ wrangles to come together and dialogue to resolve football political disputes affecting the Zambian Game.

Hichilema said there is no need for Zambia as a country to wait for FIFA to provide solutions to issues affecting football in Zambia.

The directive cheered banned football administrator Damiano Mutale who applauded President Hichilema for guiding on the way forward.

“We are ready for dialogue. Firstly, we commend the president for what he said and we are happy that he has also guided on the way forward. We are ready to seat and discus on certain issues. If we agree, it will be good for our football but if dialogue fails then we will go back to court,” Mutale said. 

He said he was forced to seek help from the courts in a quest to bring unity and peace in the football fraternity. 

Mutale accused the current FAZ executive for promoting division using the FAZ Constitution which is alleged to have been docked to prevent other stakeholders from participating in the development of football in Zambia. 

Meanwhile, FAZ president Andrew Kamanga said the association was encouraged by Hichilema’s take on the ongoing impasse that has seen two non-members take FAZ to court and cause the indefinite suspension of the Annual General Meeting.

“It remains our hope that common sense will prevail in this matter as everyone knows the channels of dispute resolution in football as guided by FIFA in its statutes,” Kamanga said.

“Football is naturally a game played by the rules and everyone is encouraged to abide by the rules. We have never shied from constantly reminding our membership about the importance of playing by the rules as it has been the hallmark of my presidency,” he added.

The FAZ Chief also Hichilema as the patron of FAZ, for having been part of the 2024 ABSA Cup final involving Kabwe Warriors and eventual champions Red Arrows. 

Kamanga said Hichilema’s third consecutive ABSA Cup final appearance signals the Presidents interest in the growth of the local games. 

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