The standoff between FAZ and the women national team, Chipolopolo Queens, is set to spiral out of control with members of the team giving interviews to international news media like the BBC.
Renowned BBC sports journalist Farayi Mungazi tweeted that the girls have vowed that they would not go to their homes until they were paid.
Mungazi tweeted: “Stand-off in Lusaka: #Zambia women’s football squad refusing to go home until they get paid for playing at #AWC2014. Just spoken to two of the #Zambian girls refusing to go home who told me they got $15 each upon return from Namibia.”
ZamFoot reported last week that was allegedly FAZ broke and that the women national team’s outstanding payments and improvement of welfare of Football House might take longer following Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili statement that GRZ was not responsible for the Chipolopolo Queens and other FAZ engagements. Government only looks after the Chipolopolo.
The women team was on October 22 left in limbo following a decision by FAZ to withdraw the chef who was preparing and serving meals since their return from Namibia. Power to their rooms was also disconnected in moves allegedly to force the women out of the FAZ Technical Centre. On return from Windhoek, the women team staged a protest for non-payment of their African Women Championship bonuses and vowed not to leave the FAZ centre until they were paid.
FAZ Treasurer Kelvin Mutafu said FAZ had no money and was hoping government could intervene but Kambwili said the state was only responsible for the Chipolopolo. FAZ would therefore have to find money to pay the Chipolopollo Queens who were hammered 6-0 by Nigeria, thrashed 2-0 by Namibia and drew 1-1 with Cote d’Ivoire to bow out of the ongoing finals in Windhoek.
The women team is owed US$80 per day per person for pre-championship camps and final tournament days and qualification bonuses.
Prior to their departure for Namibia, the women complained of a poor diet of kapenta and beans and each member was given K100 for transport on return from Namibia. They rejected the transport money offered and refused to leave Lusaka.
FAZ has not issued any statement on the team protest and when the women would be paid.