ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA MR KALUSHA BWALYA ON THE OCCASION OF THE FAZ PRESIDENT’S PRESS CONFERENCE ON WEDNESDAY 17 FEBRUARY 2010 FOOTBALL HOUSE, LUSAKA
Firstly, let me thank God I am here today. May I pay tribute to those people who make and have made incredible contribution to lift this game of ours.
Welcome to Football House and please accept my sincere and warm greetings of what is still a new year and my best wishes for all of you in all that you endeavour to do and achieve in 2010 and beyond.
This year is a year of action, a year of hard work and clear focus on what we need to achieve to take our football to even higher and greater heights. I therefore wish to call on all members of our football family and indeed the country to set their eyes on real development issues that will ensure for us.
For many months over the last year, a lot of time was spent on matters that had no direct bearing on our football development road map. We must turn a leaf and ensure that we are never distracted.
As we get underway, allow me to share with you an inspirational note which is true to many situations we encounter every day.
I believe ladies and gentlemen that “Only our actions provide the truest answers.”
Football is our passion and every Zambian is passionate about it because we are a country with a great soccer heritage. It is our way of life.
The love that we have for the game is what has seen us spend entire lives in it and continue to serve and serve it to the best of our ability.
With the dawn of a new year, a new year of football and one of greater hope for success of our game football, we also have new challenges to look forward to. Challenges which put us firmly on the road to taking our game to the highest level that we all desire.
May I reiterate our dedication to duty, hard work and commitment to continue putting in 200% and even do more to ensure that we succeed both on and off the field.
We have every required attribute, ability, understanding and know-how to take us forward.
We have set out our new vision, mission and clear objectives of where we want to take our football – the highest level on the continent and the world! The implementation of the various development programmes can only be quickened with more hard work and dedication to duty and the cause of our football.
With that we spell out again our working motto of Eyes on the Ball; we are set to taking Zambian Football into a new dawn and reigniting the passion of each and every Zambian for their National Teams. Through implementation of the programmes set out, we are geared to tap into the mission we have set out as we undertake to restore Zambia to the place we were before.
Working with you and all stakeholders involved in our football, we believe we can achieve many great things for Zambia.
Since our last briefing, a number of developments have taken place and some exciting programmes implemented. Some of these matters we have shared with you through our spokesperson and in weekly press briefings.
Today I am pleased on my own behalf and on behalf of the Executive Committee to report that our football is on an upward movement. We are rising up the ladder of success. It is therefore important and everyone’s duty to ensure that we work harder to sustain that development.
Allow me to share with you some of the developments we have undertaken or embarked on over the past months.
Professionalization of Football House
Over the last year, world soccer governing body, FIFA has been conducting periodical reviews on performance of the FAZ Secretariat.
It is my privilege to report that the FAZ Secretariat has scored many successes and as a result of that is now being given as an example of how a well-managed Secretariat must be run in Africa and the Third World. The exemplary successes are but not limited to the following:
1. Innovative approaches to sourcing sponsorships
2. Establishment of a Communications and Marketing strategies
3. Restructuring of the Secretariat
4. Debt repayment
5. Information Technology advancements eg. FAZ website a shopping window
We are pleased and very happy with this recognition. It is not only gratifying to be rated highly and recognised this highly by FIFA. We are only but five recognised countries in Africa. It is now a challenge for the Secretariat to continue to do its best so that it can continuously be among the best performing and rated secretariats in Africa.
Establishment of Technical Directorate
As you may be aware, it is a requirement of FIFA that effective 1 January 2010, all national associations affiliated to FIFA must have fully fledged and running Technical Directorates of Departments.
FIFA has gone further to dictate that only countries with Technical Departments will be able to access developmental funding under the Financial Assistance Programme (FAP).
FAZ has been ahead of this schedule and we are pleased to inform you that work on the establishment of the FAZ Technical Department got well underway many months ago. Over the past months, we have shared with you information on the progress made as well as tours of the provinces done which are aimed at ensuring that the whole country is incorporated in this programme.
As previously advised, Mr. Honour Janza as from 1st January 2010 is the Technical Director. His department is in charge of all developmental and educational programmes.
The establishment of this department heralds a new chapter in the FAZ in that priority areas as well as development programmes which include grassroots football will have a new standing.
CAN 2010 Angola
Allow me to pay glowing tribute to the technical staff under Herve Renard and the players for putting up tremendous performance during last CAN in Angola.
Let me also pay tribute to the Secretariat and other support staff who worked hard to ensure that logistics and other arrangements for the Chipolopolo were done very well to ensure that the team was adequately prepared for the games in Angola.
This achievement is without doubt a result of efforts that have been put in by both the technical staff, players and others in the last two years. We can only grow from here. It is for this reason the Association will continue to secure class A international friendly matches in order to give our players the much needed preparations and experience for future tournaments.
Position of Herve Renard
Following H.E. Rupiah B. Banda’s statements on the need to retain the services of Mr Herve Renard, the FAZ will soon be sitting with Mr Renard to review his contract for a further term.
That is the wish of the head of state and it’s the wish of the nation. Therefore the FAZ must listen to the calls of the nation and act appropriately.
IT Support from FIFA
I wish to report that the FAZ has received a non conditional grant from FIFA amounting to US$61000 as IT support to the FAZ Secretariat. This has been done in recognition of the efforts made in professionalising the secretariat of the FAZ. Zambia is currently the only recipient in Africa of this grant and is an achievement on the part of the Executive Committee and the Secretariat in running football.
This will come in form of laptops, personal computers, printers, scanners, a server and other equipment in order to make the running of the FAZ secretariat more effective.
As a result of this support, it has been decided by the Executive Committee that current IT equipment at FAZ Secretariat will be donated to provincial football associations in order to establish the first ever provincial FAZ offices.
So far office accommodation secure in Lusaka, Kabwe, Mongu, Chipata and Mansa. Wish to call upon other provincial associations to take cue from their colleagues to secure accommodation in order for this equipment to be delivered.
Establishment of these FAZ offices will make administration of football far much easier. Each province will receive a computer and a four-in-one printer, scanner, copier and fax. All provincial offices will be linked on line with FAZ Secretariat.
Response to Sports Council
Despite what has been said in the media of late, l have in the last few weeks been in touch with the Chairman of the National Sports Council, Mr Chifumu Banda, State Counsel, in which I firstly apologised for the delay in responding to his earlier letter.
This was not deliberate as we had a lot of international engagements including the CAN2010 in Angola. Thought the matter needed to be addressed after Angola in order to put an end to the London issue.
As President of FAZ I wish to take full responsibility for the happenings during the London match on 12th August 2009. If there were any inadequacies, these have been addressed administratively, properly and quietly.
We realise that there are a lot of lessons to be learned from the London outing and as Association we shall endeavour to ensure that we continue to provide quality friendly matches for the Zambia National Team.
We have also taken positives from the London outing in that it was during that match that some of the players like Stoppila Sunzu came to the fore to show that they could actually do well at centre back position.
Soon after London, the team proceeded to France for a one week training programme and we experienced no problems in obtaining visas to France and eventually Algeria for the World Cup qualifying match on 6 September 2009.
We have since written to the Chairman of the National Sports Council in which we have requested that this matter be put to rest. For the stated short-comings, we wish to apologise to the country. You may also wish to recall that in our report to the Council and other verbal submissions, we have tendered our unreserved apologies. We will further publish through various mass-media (the FAZ website taking the lead) this statement and with it put closure to this matter.
New Chipolopolo Kit
Ladies and gentlemen as part of our effort to improve football in Zambia allow me to present to short preview of the new Zambia National Team jersey. The formal launch will be conducted later by which time we hope to have replica jerseys available for sale to the public.
The National team from now will be clad in true Zambian colours.