Soccer Review with STEPHEN PHIRI
FANS came in their thousands to cheer Zambia during the 2018 Russia World Cup qualifier against Algeria at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka last Saturday.
The Chipolopolo did not disappoint, winning 3-1 courtesy of a brace by striker Brian Mwila and midfielder Enock Mwepu’s scorcher.
The fans and the country at large went into frenzy after Wedson Nyirenda and his boys ended Algeria’s 40-year dominance over Zambia in Lusaka.
Going forward, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) should not allow people to drive to the stadium.
Fans should leave their vehicles in Emmasdale, Mandevu, Chaisa and Matero townships, among others, and then walk to the stadium.
In so doing, congestion will be reduced and traffic will flow smoothly after the match.
The location of the stadium is not the best and authorities cannot allow people to drive. Initially, the plan was to build the stadium in Chongwe or Kafue but this did not materialise.
It took two hours or more for people to leave the stadium because everyone went with their vehicle.
Remember there is only one way – Great North Road – which leads to National Heroes Stadium from town.
In future, FAZ, working with the Road Transport and Safety Agency and Zambia Police Service, should not allow people to drive to the stadium.
Only a few vehicles for teams, match officials, FAZ members, Government officials and security personnel should be allowed in the car park at the stadium.
The rest of the people must park in nearby townships and then take a walk to the stadium.
After all, walking is an exercise that could burn unnecessary fat in several bodies.
If this trend is done in other countries, we can do it in Zambia.
In England and other countries in Europe, fans walk to different venues to avoid congestion.
That system has worked well and it can be embraced in Zambia.
I expect FAZ to implement this measure when Zambia hosts Cameroon in a World Cup qualifier on November 6.
I covered the Under-20 FIFA World Cup in South Korea in May this year and vehicles were nowhere near various stadiums in Cheonan, Jeju and Suwon among others.
People used buses and taxis to and from the stadiums and order prevailed.
Journalists must be given room to work without interference at National Heroes Stadium.
It was difficult for scribes to work in the media tribune because non-journalists found themselves there.
As if that was not enough, the ‘gate-crashers’ were threatening to ‘evict’ the landlords.
World over, the media tribune is for journalists and those who are nowhere near the noble profession should watch matches from ‘gate D’.
I hope FAZ will take note and correct the situation.