The Football Association of Zambia has hit back at allegations that Shepolopolo U20’s 2019 All Africa Games fiasco was its fault.
Shepolopolo U20 withdrew from the All Africa Games Women’s Football tournament in Morocco due to logistical reasons.
This is after a last minute change of travel plans due to a visa hitch that saw the team marooned in Lusaka for a week after returning from the 2019 COSAFA U20 Women’s Cup in South Africa where they had just finished runner-up.
The All Africa Games participation and organization fall under the aegis of Government through the Ministry of Sport.
FAZ general secretary Adrian Kashala told The Daily Nation Newspaper that it was inaccurate to blame Football House’s fault when the blame was on the facilitators at The Ministry of Sport.
“We should not wash dirty linen in public. We are not responsible for organising the All Africa Games as that is the baby of the Ministry and National Olympic Committee of Zambia. The visas were supposed to be secured by the organising committee,” Kashala told The Daily Nation.
“We should not be brought into the mud for nothing because now we are been pushed too far, the nation will know where the truth lies.
“How can we be told to buy our own tickets when the rest of the disciplines are being taken care of by the government? Did they tell athletics or judo to secure their air tickets? Are we showing discrimination?
“But we went out of our way to secure the tickets for the girls but there were no visa letters.
“After we had cancelled the tickets three times, the last quotation we got from the airline was K900, 000 and we couldn’t afford that as an association because our budget was K400, 000. We asked the ministry if they could help, but they could not commit to pay and asked us to continue looking for something cheaper.
“So we did our best to see our girls travel but sadly did not produce the intended result.”