Football

It’s a premier decision but…

Soccer Review with STEPHEN PHIRI
ON THE opening day of the 2017 season, Power Dynamos protested against Lusaka Dynamos’ use of a player they felt was ineligible but the case has to date not been concluded.

The season is now on the home stretch and should be concluding after five rounds of games. I may not be privy to what has caused the delay in concluding the case but you have all heard that ‘justice delayed is justice denied’.
I don’t understand what’s wrong with being efficient, though I know fully the cost of such prolonged procrastination; it hurts those inflicted with injustice and slows development.
Power and Dynamos may not be the only teams still waiting for the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) disciplinary committee to conclude their cases though I know that a few were heard at the weekend and some grumbling is still on.
It’s clear the FAZ secretariat has too much on its plate or, conversely, its plate is too small.
That is why I commend Andrew Kamanga and his executive for taking a bold step of authorising the delinking of the Premier League from Football House.
I call it bold because Kamanga will, to some extent, be ceding power to an executive that will be running the Premier League as it is done elsewhere where football development is cherished.
It was also one of Kamanga’s campaign promises and I must say he has superbly delivered, especially if he will choose competent and independent people to run the Premier League.
The move to delink the league from Football House was mooted in Chisamba some years ago but, for reasons known by a few people, could not take off.
Delinking the league from FAZ will have a lot of benefits to the growth of Zambian football, hopefully. Mind you, it’s not just delinking and boom, football develops!
The Football House’s responsibility will be to run affairs of football at national team level. That is a mammoth task.
The process of delinking should be done thoroughly to avoid pitfalls as the case has been in Kenya. South Africa offers the best example in Africa while the English Premiership is the best football brand in the world.
I want to believe that FAZ will not just rush into it blindly; that they fully understand the positives such as the power for the Premier League to negotiate sponsorship deals worth it.
Currently and, with all due respect, the league sponsorship is but only some pittance consumed by the so-called administrative costs.
I hope the coming of the Premier League will improve the deal and get other sponsors on board so that our country becomes a prime destination for footballers.
It’s a bold step and keep it up, Andrew.
sphiri@daily-mail.co.zm, phiristeve4@gmail.com

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