The Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) has ordered the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) to immediately sort the problems that have engulfed FAZ Division South outfit City of Lusaka FC.
ZANIS reports that the World Soccer governing body has further directed FAZ to prepare a report addressing complaints of interference by third parties in the affairs of City of Lusaka FC and submit to FIFA by October 8, 2018.
According to an email letter dated September 28, 2018 addressed to FAZ Secretary General Adrian Kashala and copied to City of Lusaka FC, obtained by ZANIS, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said while FIFA recognizes that the situation of City of Lusaka FC is an internal matter, it is incumbent upon the national mother body to assess the problem and protect the welfare of its members using applicable FAZ regulations.
Samoura reminded FAZ that according to article 14, paragraph 1 letter I and article 19, paragraph 1 of the FIFA statutes, member associations are obliged to manage their affairs independently and without undue influence from third parties.
“We bring to your attention that article 17, paragraph 1 of the FAZ statutes in our files of March 2017, also establishes that each member shall manage its affairs independently and with no influence from third parties,” said Samoura as she quoted the FAZ constitution.
City of Lusaka FC Secretary General, Christopher Chilongo had written to FIFA in a letter dated September 14, 2018, complaining about interference in the running of its affairs, claiming that FAZ had allegedly taken a passive role in ensuring that the interests of City of Lusaka FC are protected.
FAZ Secretary General, Adrian Kashala could not comment on the matter as he is in Cairo Egypt attending a Confederation of African Football (CAF) meeting.
City of Lusaka FC and Forli Investments Zambia Limited owned by Diego Cassili have been embroiled in a bitter wrangle over ownership of the Club, and its properties that include the Woodlands stadium, the on-going development of the shopping mall and City of Lusaka 2000 Plc, a company that was formed to raise funds to finance the Club.
In his letter of complaint to FIFA, Chilongo stated that the third party in the name of Forli Investments was claiming ownership of the club through a fraudulent lease agreement that erroneously attached two pieces of land instead of one where the Woodlands Stadium is erected.
He said when the Club formed City of Lusaka 2000 Plc, it entered into a strategic partnership with Cavmont FMO Capital Corporation Limited owned by Thomas Ryan and the shareholding of the company was that the City retained 60 % while Cavmont got 40 %.
Chilongo wondered how after three years, Thomas Ryan through Cavmont claimed to own 60 % of the club and investments of K500 million which to date have not been traced through any bank transaction in the country.
He said it is at this juncture that Thomas Ryan allegedly sold the legally disputed majority shareholding to Forli Investments who claims to own the Club contrary to the Club Constitution which is deposited at FAZ.
The internal wrangles saw Forli Investments terminate sponsorship of City of Lusaka FC during the 2017 Premier season while at the start of the 2018 season following City of Lusaka’s demotion and Mr. Cassili registered his own parallel club City Yamoto Football Club with FAZ, which was aware of the problems at Woodlands Stadium.
Chilongo said despite directives by Minister of Sports, Youth and Child Development, Moses Mawere to FAZ to constitute an Interim committee to harmonise ownership of the club, the duly elected City of Lusaka FC Executive whose mandate runs up to 2019 has been sidelined.
He has since told ZANIS in an interview that his executive is working round the clock to use all appropriate legal avenues to ensure that everything that has gone amiss at the community club is exposed and rectified.
Recently, City of Lusaka FC terminated the controversial lease agreement with Forli Investments after discovering that its contents had allegedly been fraudulently uttered to include issues not originally agreed upon.
Chilongo said at no time did City of Lusaka offer to Lusaka businessman Diego Cassili Stand 2575 on which the old Club house stood which he demolished to develop a shopping mall.
He explained that the club only leased out stand 3034 on which Woodlands stadium is erected to Forli Investments, to refurbish the stadium which has also seen shops erected around the walls of the arena.
Chilongo charged that at the expiration of the six months’ notice of termination the Club will ensure that it gets an order to have Forli Investments vacate the premises.
“We want to protect want belongs to the community, so we have given him six months to pack and go,” said Chilongo.
Chilongo demanded that Forli Zambia Limited should immediately cease construction works on the on-going development of the US$8 million dollar shopping mall next to Woodlands stadium in Lusaka on land owned by the club.
He said it is only wise that Forli Investments Zambia Limited stop developing the land next to the stadium following the cancelation of the lease agreement.
Chilongo said City of Lusaka FC executive has since reported to Zambia Police, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) the alleged frauds and financial irregularities relating to the Club and the company.
The City of Lusaka FC, Secretary General said the Club will assess the value of the investments Diego Cassili made to the Stadium with regards to refurbishment and construction of shops as well as audit the revenue from shop rentals and stadium hire by various parties.
Chilongo said his executive blames the Christine Mulundika led trustees for the financial and legal problems that have befallen the club as they turned a blind eye to the fraud that was unfolding during their tenure at City of Lusaka.
However, efforts to get a comment from Forli Investments Zambia Limited, Managing Director Diego Cassili proved futile as his mobile phone went unanswered
Scandal at Woodlands. Does Casili finance PF?
Just sell it to me I will build projects and section 8 housings for poor people in Lusaka. I have a vision and heart for the poor
Comment:nonsense! respect Diego Casilli
the really property developer unlikely your failed backers who are corrupt and petty thieves!
Squatters have full rights.
This clueless Yamoto Executive should pay at Market Value what Diego has put in. Otherwise, Diego the squatter as they view him should stay and grab it. The Courts will surely grant this squatter seals of approval for his investments.
FIFA or their FAZ have absolutely no jurisdiction here.
THAT IS GOOD WHAT GIEGO US DONE AT YAMOTO,LUCK OF UNDERSTANDING ITS WHAT MAKE US ZAMBIANS NOT TO DEVELOP,WHAT MADE THEM AGREE WITH HIM TO START BUILDING,WHERE WERE THEM TO START TALKING,THATS GOOD FOR THE PEOPLE OF YAMOTO.
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