FRANCIS CHIPALO writes
THE planned upgrading of stadiums will greatly improve the standards of football especially for teams playing in the lower leagues, says Vector Football Club assistant coach Donald Phiri.
Phiri said the move was good for the development of soccer in Zambia.
He was commenting on the announcement by FAZ president Andrew Kamanga that four soccer stadiums would be upgraded following increased funding to the association by FIFA,
In an interview with Sun Sports on Tuesday during his team’s training at the Showgrounds in Lusaka, Phiri said that good infrastructure attracted fans to watch games in the lower division.
“It’s a good thing that FAZ has said they will be upgrading some stadiums and our appeal is that they should also consider upgrading stadiums in Lusaka as well by maybe putting up some terraces so that people can easily watch the games,” Phiri said.
Phiri whose team plays Division 2 football after having being demoted last season complained that people rarely watched games in the lower leagues as most stadiums lacked terraces among other requirements.
“We need people come and watch our games for us to be known and people can only come when there is a good infrastructure where one can comfortably sit and enjoy the game. But in the absence of terraces for example, it is difficult for people to watch lower league matches,” Phiri stated.
And Phiri appealed to FAZ to consider training match officials who assigned to preside over games in lower leagues.
“I don’t think some of these referees that officiate in the lower leagues undergo any form of trainings because the manner that they handle games leaves much to be desired,
“Our request to FAZ is to channel some of those resources to capacity building of match officials in the league,” he said.
Meanwhile, Godfrey Ludaka, head of communications and public relations at the club complained of lack of publicity from the media.
Ludaka said most players who were playing in the premier soccer league were products of teams from the lower leagues.
On Monday Kamanga, through Secretary General Adrian Kashala said the association will upgrade Solwezi, Kasama, Mansa and Chipata stadia after FIFA increased funding to the association for the year 2019.