ALLOW me space in your paper to express my views on the state of local football in Zambia.
It is clear that the Zambian super league is growing as evidenced by the total number of teams in the league and the number of corporate sponsors coming on board to sponsor some club sides.
However, I feel Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) and the clubs themselves are not doing enough when it comes to attracting fans to attend live games. I feel social media is not being utilised by the clubs and FAZ. If you visit the Facebook pages of Zanaco and Lusaka Dynamos, you will find very little activity on their respective pages, which should not be the case.
These pages need to be a hive of activity. The fans should be able to have a daily update of what is happening at club sides and if possible read profiles and interviews of some players. It is not enough to just give the fans the team news on the match day but they also want to know other aspects of the club. These are some of the things we fans are interested in.
Fans want to feel like they are part of the club. In the long run, this will increase the numbers on the social media pages and later translate into increased numbers at the stadium. Look at how teams like Kaizer Chiefs in South Africa translate their social media numbers into actual fans at the stadium. They make them feel like they belong to a family.
FAZ should also try and embark on an aggressive marketing strategy where it will be impossible for fans to go a day without listening or reading about the upcoming games or the latest stories surrounding the Zambia Super League. This will create a certain hype, which is something EPL uses to attract viewers. It is all about sensationalisation.
Lastly, FAZ should try by all means to schedule games for the weekend. It is a little disappointing knowing that your team has a mid-week game but you know you won’t watch the match due to the fact that you will be working. If all games were scheduled for weekends, it gives fans the chance to actually catch games. It does not hold well for our league when it is being televised on Supersport and only a handful of people are in attendance.
I dream of a day when we football fans in Zambia will be able to fill stadia like North Africans do. There is more from where this came from, but I will end it here for now.