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Ban the savages

SOCCER REVIEW with STEPHEN PHIRI
BY NOW, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) should have fined Nkana heavily and suspended players Donashano Malama and Walter Bwalya over their unsightly behaviour on Sunday.
There is no way a player, in this day and age, can shove a referee! Poor Wellington Kaoma was a victim of savages masquerading as football players.
FAZ should take immediate action. Can’t our association learn from the English who ban players for merely pointing a finger – not even the middle one – at match officials?
What evidence other than the video are they waiting for? FAZ should act to instil discipline and restore people’s confidence in the sport.
For the uninformed, Kaoma gave Malama marching orders on 59 minutes after he deliberately stomped on Zesco United defender Ben Banh when the Ndola side were leading 1-0 via a cracking goal by two-goal hero John Ching’andu.
Bwalya led a horde of Nkana players to protest the decision at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium as FAZ officials and Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development Moses Mawere watched the Samuel ‘Zoom’ Ndhlovu Charity Shield final at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
This kind of behaviour should be condemned in its strongest terms. Players can react to situations but they should know how far they can go.
Pushing a referee is a serious offence and Bwalya is lucky he escaped a red card.
If it were in England, Bwalya could have been handed a four-match ban but thanks that he is featuring in the Zambian league.
In England, Manchester United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic was handed a three match ban for elbowing Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings during a league match while Argentina striker Lionel Messi was given a four-match ban for insulting an assistant referee in a 2018 World Cup qualifier against Chile last Tuesday.
It is high time FAZ put a stop to such kind of behaviour because it tarnishes the image of the game.
Whether Kaoma erred or not, Bwalya had no right to behave in a manner he did. Bwalya is a top-class player with a bright future and he should know that the whole world saw him behave in such a manner.
He scored 24 goals in the Super Division last season to bag the top scorer’s award and this speaks volumes about his talent.
The Nkana executive and technical bench should counsel Bwalya, Malama and others to ensure that in future they behave in an acceptable manner.
It is good that Nkana chief executive officer Ken Mwansa has called a spade a spade by condemning the behaviour of his players.
That is how it is supposed to be, and Nkana coach Zeddy Saileti should have a chat with his player and put him in his right position.
There is no need to defend players when they are in the wrong.
For Malama, he could have left the pitch without the intervention of assistant coach Billy Mwanza and goalkeepers’ trainer Kennedy Kalale.
He is the Nkana skipper who is expected to behave above board at all times.
Malama should reflect on his behaviour and act appropriately in future.
He is also a national team defender.
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I wish Zesco United success in Sunday’s Confederation Cup play-off against Nigerian side Enugu Rangers.
Let’s enjoy the season and find me on sphiri@daily-mail.co.zm, phiristeve4@gmail.com