Kalu, others oppose naming stadium ‘disaster’

Kalu, others oppose naming stadium ‘disaster’

kaluFootball Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Kalusha Bwalya says the 50,000 capacity stadium under construction in Lusaka should be called ‘Heroes Stadium’ and not Gabon Disaster Heroes National Stadium.
Kalusha yesterday tweeted that ‘Heroes Stadium’ is more appropriate as it will include the heroic performances by national teams of 1974, 1993, 1994 and that for 2012 which won the Africa Cup.
On Tuesday, Minister of Sport and Youth Chishimba Kambwili announced that Cabinet approved that the stadium will be called Gabon Disaster Heroes National Stadium.
“The newly built stadium in Lusaka can just be called ‘Heroes Stadium’, because ‘Heroes’ means the class of ‘93, 1974, ‘94 and more importantly the 2012 Africa Cup winners,” Kalusha tweeted.
Kalusha was captain of the fallen heroes and led the 1994 reconstructed team to the final of the Africa Cup in Tunisia where Zambia lost 1-2 to Nigeria.
Kalusha is the only Zambian to have been crowned African-footballer-of-the-year in 1988.
Martin Mutale, the younger brother of striker Kelvin Mutale, one of the players who died in the 1993 Gabon air crash, said Government’s gesture shows the appreciation for the fallen heroes.
Mutale said the facility should be called ‘Heroes National Stadium’ to include the unsung heroes who died before 1993.
“The move to name the Lusaka stadium after the 1993 team is welcome but the name should be shortened to Heroes National Stadium.
I suggest that Government should take a step further by naming the decks in the stadium after individual players and officials who died in the Gabon air crash. If possible, let them also put portraits of players and officials in and outside the stadium,” he said.
Chipolopolo Soccer Fans Association chairman Yotam Mwanza also urged Government to consider removing the word ‘Disaster’ from the name of the stadium.
Mwanza said fans are happy that Government has named the stadium in line with what they submitted to the Ministry of Sport and Youth.
He said fans suggested that the stadium be called ‘The 1993 National Stadium’
And Zambia Sports Fans Association chairman Peter Makembo said the name is too long for a stadium.
Makembo said it was not too late for Government to change the name to something more simplified.

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