Monday, March 4, 2024

GRANDSTAND: ZPL Clubs Must Walk The Talk


The World will be a very different place, the same applies with football, once, or if ever, Covid-19 blows over.

Change is inevitable in these unprecedented times after nature has tested our limits and resilience during the last four months.

But on the home front, football has especially endured a very bruising moment over the last fortnight.

Reputations have been left dented and clubs left counting the cost following the chaotic episodes that have run since the restart on July 18 heading into Sunday’s controversial grand finale of the shortened 2019/2020 league season.

FAZ, who have been under the cosh since the restart, and took a severe hammering last Thursday with the embarrassing abandonment of Nkana’s coronation that never was, are calling for a postmortem meeting this Tuesday, August 11 in Lusaka.

An opportunity has presented itself for the 18 FAZ Super Division club bosses invited, after all their talk and flurry of elaborately written correspondence to Football House, to push for devolution as the main agenda item at the postmortem meeting called according to FAZ to plan for the best practices of the 2020/2021season.

However, devolution with the mandate to finally get the Zambia Premier League (ZPL) running should not be used as an opportunity to draw battle lines with FAZ who will remain with national teams, CAF inter-club competition and refereeing matters plus watchdog of the game.

Cardinal for the clubs must be the medical management of their Covid-19 crisis after inconsistencies exposed the capacity limitations of the system.

They must walk the talk, it is time for the child to take responsibility over his life at this juncture after being a lifetime armchair critic and what better scenario than a crisis to start from.

One must not forget that The United Nations did not just pop-up on the glamorous East Side of Manhattan but was born of modest means from the rubbles of the Second World War and the onus of the clubs is to take the wheel and steer the ship out of these choppy and uncharted waters of Covid-19.

But the 18 plus their second tier counterparts in their push for the ZPL devolution must guard against dreamland urges of superpower status and flamboyance.

This should not been an opportunity to drive down the sweet avenue to Keep Up With The Jones just south of the Limpopo and must not be hijacked by those habouring overflowing dreams of the glitz of media and marketing.

It is luxury those who are advocating for devolution can forego until they put their mouth where the money is with a responsible health management structure that will be ready to face the challenges of the projected October 17 kickoff of the 2020/2021 season.

And to the club bosses heading into Tuesday’s meeting, here are some wise words from the USA Governments’ senior official on the Covid-19 Taskforce Doctor Anthony Fauci: “Don’t start leapfrogging over the recommendations of some of the guidelines because that’s really tempting fate and asking for trouble.”

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