Football Sport

CAF biased

SOCCER REVIEW with STEPHEN PHIRI
ZAMBIA’S failure to win the bid to host the 2019 African Nations Cup has left a sour taste among the country’s soccer fraternity.
As far as our fans, FAZ and the Sports ministry are concerned, Zambia deserved to stage Africa’s showpiece in 2019.
And I totally agree with all the sentiments by my fellow Zambians in expressing disgust in the manner the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has handled the issue.
It has turned out that the inspection visit by some officials sent to come and assess our facilities was nothing more than a smoke screen.
The verdict must have already been passed at some boardroom in West Africa.
What else would one deduce from a biased award of three successful bids in a row to Cameroon, where CAF president Issa Hayatou hails from, Ivory Coast and Guinea?
This was a totally West African affair without due consideration for other sub-regions which also seek a share of the CAF cake.
Our bid may not have been the best but such favouritism only goes to show that CAF has no respect for other countries, especially those from the south.
To some extent, this is a religious hegemony where the Muslim countries wish to outdo their Christian counterparts.
If this is how CAF will organise the football affairs to the exclusion of others, then soccer development will suffer.
However, I urge our soccer authorities, the Ministry of Sport and other line ministries not to lose heart but continue ensuring that all facilities – airports, hotels, hospitals, roads, stadiums – are in perfect shape.
Let us also continue to educate all stakeholders against remonstrating against referees – be it in local or international matches – as a deterrent to harsh fines by CAF, who may use it to deprive us of the privilege of hosting the Africa Cup..

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