The sun is setting on the Copperbelt as a sporting powerhouse.
While, affluent Zesco United and Power Dynamos will continue to fly the flag on the Copperbelt for the foreseeable future, things are really looking bleak for their struggling provincial rivals.
Legendary football clubs Roan United, Nkana and Mufulira Wanderers are motherless and futures unknown after the mining concerns that have sponsored them over the decades finally closed their cheque books for monthly handout that have helped sustain the clubs over the years.
The current global recession is a major factor and that has also seen perennial strugglers Chambishi FC also without a bankroller for this season and the immediate future.
However, football is not the only sport in a serious state of crisis.
Rugby, the second biggest attraction after football on the Copperbelt, is also facing an uncertain future.
Last Saturday, the Zambia Rugby football Union held its annual general meeting in Lusaka at which five out of the 12 affiliated clubs failed to attend.
Konkola, Roan, Ndola Wanderers, Mufulira and Chambishi rugby clubs all failed to travel for the AGM.
However, only Konkola from no-man’s land in Chililabombwe sent their RSVP citing a bereavement at the club.
The rest, however, did not give a valid reason for staying away.
Roan, like their football club relations from Luanshya have lost sponsorship, so too have Mufulira and Chambishi while community funded Ndola Wanderers is also limping and last season struggled to fulfill its league fixtures.
Moreover, legendary Diggers too have been hit by the economic bug after their life-long sponsorship deal with a major Kitwe-based mining company was also ended this year.
Diggers influence as rugby giants especially after losing their five-year grip on the crown ended last year will be interesting to see this season.
Powerhouse Lusaka on the other hand who wrestled the championship away from Diggers are in rude health and have set the bar in terms of corporate sponsorship in sport and are looking undisputed survival kings in the challenges awaiting in 2009.