Soccer Review with STEPHEN PHIRI
THERE seems to be more than meets the eye at City of Lusaka, where officials at various levels are suspending each other almost every day.
There is a serious power struggle among the sponsor, executive committee and the board of trustees to a point where no-one really seems to be in charge.
Well, I do not want to delve into the nitty-gritty, because there are also allegations that one Diego Casilli acquired majority shares in the club. There are also allegations about missing title deeds of the place, which, I must admit, looks better developed than the bare land it was few years back.
Casilli, whatever his shortcomings, has done a decent job at the club and I expected those passionate about football development to support the cause.
But I have a challenge to appreciate his actions after things came to the boil the other day; the man, I am told, is ripping Woodlands Stadium.
He is dismantling structures in reaction to the goings-on. He has also retrieved two pairs of jerseys, team bus, fridges and stoves which were installed in the canteen. This is very strange.
For those who may not know, last Saturday, the club held an extraordinary annual general meeting at which a new board of trustees was ushered into office to replace the Christine Mulundika-led one.
The new board of trustees has judge Sunday Nkonde, veteran sports administrator Esau Nebwe, Steve Shamenda, Sam Simutowe, Elisha Mwanza, Lovewell Jere, Kaitano Chungu and Evans Banda.
That followed the dissolution of the executive committee. I am just wondering how a legally dissolved committee can convene a meeting and make a binding resolution.
These happenings are embarrassing and there is need for the City family to iron out their differences amicably within a short time.
City are a big club to be making headlines for wrong reasons.
Having been demoted to the first division at the end of the 2017 season, City are supposed to be strategising the way forward instead of being on each other’s throats.
City, who managed 16 points – three wins, seven draws and 28 losses last season, are Super Division material and not otherwise.
In case the City fraternity have forgotten, the Chilenje outfit are among the legends of Zambian football and should ensure that they walk with their heads high all the time.
City won the league title in 1964, the year Zambia got its independence from Britain.
Casilli, City of Lusaka Plc 2000 board, board of trustees [the old or new one], the executive committee members and the Chilenje community at large should put pride aside and resolve the differences that have potential to derail City’s return to the Super Division.
The City leaders should know that it is the players and fans who suffer the most when they engage in wars of words.
There is no winner or vanquished in this situation that City ‘Yamoto’ has found itself in because the club is bigger than individuals.
Casilli should have found a better way of dealing with the issue unlike removing chairs from the grand stand. This seriously questions his investment objective and equates him to those he may see as villains.
He must, as a matter of urgency, rescind his decision and go back to the negotiating table with all aggrieved parties. Anything else pits him against wisdom.