The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) says it wishes to advise the football community and nation as a whole that the Chipolopolo – the Zambia National Soccer team was at no time stranded or in any position of distress prior to, during and after the last 2012 Nations Cup qualifier against Mozambique last month.
President of Zambia Rupiah Banda last week claimed that he sent money to the team to come home because they were stranded inm Mozambiaque.
But FAZ says this is not true at all as FAZ footed all the bills and no one was ever stranded.
FAZ vice president Boniface Mwamelo issued the following statement”
‘following a letter from the National Sports Council of Zambia signed by the NSCZ General Secretary Rodgers Chipili dated 16th March 2011 advising us that government had no money to help fund the National Tern assignment to Mozambique, the Association proceeded to engage the team sponsors and other partners to finance the undertaking. In his letter, Mr. Chipili wrote “I regret to advise that currently, the National Sports Council of Zambia and Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development have no funds to release towards the game”. It entailed FAZ seeking other avenues to prepare the team adequately for that crucial and must win encounter.
FAZ then went ahead to secure resources for the purchase of the team’s flight tickets -for both foreign based and local. The team’s return trip: i.e. players from Europe, Asia and South Africa were flown into Johannesburg and then in Maputo and after the match routed to their respective destinations at a total cost of over US$43,000 which is still outstanding to the travel agency.
FAZ paid in advance over ZAR112, 000 for the Chipolopolo stay and training sessions in Johannesburg and at the state of the art high performance training centre in Pretoria.
Following our dispatch of the team to Maputo, after very successful training sessions, an announcement was made by the state that K900million had been released for the Chipolopolo. As is tradition, FAZ did
not receive or handle any of the funds. The Association does not have a breakdown of the usage of the K900million as those funds were handled by the assigned Ministry of Sports officers. Therefore any persons demanding a breakdown and expenditure of the said government finances should seek such clarification and details from the Ministry. The public should be cautious with some careless statements and comments especially those emanating from some individuals who continue bringing the name into bad light with their illegal, redundant and illegitimate claim to a non-existent interim status.
It is therefore wrong and unfortunate for any persons to insinuate that the Chipolopolo was stranded or in limbo in any way because following the advice from the Sports Council General Secretary that FAZ would not get any help on that assignment, Football House made other arrangements to play the game which we won 2-0. Prominent among the firms that worked with FAZ are sponsors Mosi Lager who presented a K5OOmillion to the Association days before the counter.
FAZ however remains highly indebted to His Excellency the President and Patron of the Association Rupiah Banda for his continued support and undertakings to ensure that our Chipolopolo and football in general continues to grow.
The President’s efforts are clear for the entire nation to see.
The Association will continue to enjoy the work and support of President Banda. We remain focused on qualification not only to the next Nations Cup finals but return to the Olympic Games in 2012 and have a successful run for the next FIFA World Cup campaigns.