‘2020/21 League plan all inclusive’

FAZ meet Premier, Division One clubs to map Covid-19 future

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SUN SPORTS writes

THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has insisted that the success of the 2020/21 League will require the full commitment and participation of all stakeholders to avoid the numerous problems that affected the previous season in light of the deadly coronavirus.

Speaking at a consultative meeting between the football mother body and club representatives from the Super and National Division One league, FAZ president Andrew Kamanaga reminded the members of the interactions preceding the re-opening of the 2019/20 league.

“Those of us who were there would remember that there was a consultative process. We met the clubs here in Lusaka and another in Ndola. It was a bit unfortunate that we started hearing from you the members in the press and not through right channels that you were not consulted and that FAZ just imposed the re-start,” Kamanga said.

The 2019/20 league came to an end at Week 27 following concerns raised over adherence to public health guidelines, amidst accusations and counter-accusations from clubs regarding disciplinary committee and appeals decisions.

Kamanga said FAZ had engaged the members to ensure that a consultative process was followed in the development of the 2020/21 season roadmap to avoid the pitfalls experienced during the re-convened league.

Meanwhile, it was disclosed that clubs will receive their allocation of the FIFA Covid-19 relief funds, with the first batch expected to be disbursed at the end of August.

Kamanga said that of the total US$1.5 million would be distributed in batches starting with US$500,000 and US$500,000 will be exclusively channelled to women football.

“With regard to financial support, I am glad to report that FIFA has given all the members a grant of USD1.5 million which will be paid towards end of August (US$500,000) and another (US$500,000) will be paid in January. Then there is US$500,000 which is exclusively for the women’s leagues. In total there is US$500,000 for women and US$1,000,000 for everybody else,” Kamanga said.

He said that Super League teams would account for 33% of the funds while the National Division One would get 15% with the developmental and provincial leagues receiving 10%.
“I can assure you that the Super League are getting the lion’s share which is 33%, National Division One will take 15% and the rest of the leagues who are provincial and development leagues will take 10%,” he said.

In terms of technical development, the FAZ president also revealed that the executive committee had approved the acquisition of authorised wearable GPS trackers designed to analyse and improve the quality of football for all Super League and National First Division teams Under the FIFA Forward support programme.

The consultative meeting was held behind closed doors and is expected to address several issues that blighted the 2019/20 season and its abrupt end with some teams boycotting fixtures and some matches delayed by non-availability of test results.

Members, who had submitted agenda items prior to the meeting, had their matters tabled in the meeting.

Kamanga also challenged the clubs to ensure that they did not disown decisions that they committed during the consultative process.

He also congratulated the winners of the Super League and National Division One for the 2019/2020 season.

The Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI) also made a presentation on the expected health protocols in light of Covid-19.

FAZ has since engaged the Zambia Medical Association (ZMA), who would collaborate with the FAZ medical committee in ensuring that testing protocols are dealt with before the new season kicks off.

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