MUKWIMA CHILALA writes
THE soccer fraternity in Zambia on Friday woke up to the shocking news of the demise of long serving soccer administrator Joseph Nkole.
Nkole’s death was confirmed by his family yesterday morning and said his died at the Levy Mwanawasa Hospital after an illness.
And the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) said it learnt with deep shock the death of former Executive Committee member and presidential aspirant Joseph Nkole.
Nkole also served as Referees Association of Zambia (RAZ) president and was also a match commissioner of the CAF.
Association spokesperson Sydney Mungala says FAZ president Andrew Kamanga and his executive committee have mourned Nkole describing him as gentlemanly.
“It is very disheartening to learn of the death of a colleague and brother in the game. Mr. Nkole served the game in various capacities throughout the years and was a football man at heart,” Kamanga said.
“Football has lost a loyal servant whose service was visible up to the very end. Our prayers are with the family. We pray that God grants them comfort in this moment.”
Kamanga said the onus was on all administrators to take a leaf from the Nkole legacy of service as a way of mourning him.
“Even when some of us encountered him as an adversary in service of the game, he was always courteous and civil in his discourse something many in the game today can emulate,” he said
And Konkola Mine Police president Gideon Mwenya noted that it was devastating to comprehend the news of Nkole’s death.
“Your departure is painful because we had so much to share in brightening soccer prospects in this country. In the recent past, you were a father, compatriot, an elder brother and above it all a comrade in the struggle to ensure that Zambian football is restored to where it belongs among the best on the continent,” Mwenya said.
“However, l am inspired by the foundation that you left behind for us to continue with what we started together. Consequently, the only way to honour you, as man of distinguished service and a patriot, who loved his country and people, will be to fight on and succeed at it,”
Nkole was among the three candidates among the three candidates vying for the FAZ presidential position in the yet to be announced FAZ elections.
He served as an Executive Committee member from 2004-2008 under the Teddy Mulonga administration and also doubled as FAZ spokesperson.