FAZ President Andrew Kamanga has congratulated newly crowned FAZ Super Division champions Nkana and also given his side of the story on the controversial Forest Rangers appeal that delayed the Kitwe giants August 6 coronation at Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe.
FAZ came under-fire when the Appeals Committees verdict came just minutes before Nkana’s crowning in Kitwe as Forest were destined for a runners-up place and finish one point behind the leaders and champions-elect after a 1-0 home win over Napsa Stars to end their visitors interest in the title race.
But a boardroom decision arrived before fulltime that quashed Forest’s 3-0 walkover home loss to Zanaco for their July 18 unplayed game that they failed to host after revealing that they had 28 Covid-19 cases just before kickoff.
However, Forest failed to deny Nkana the 2019/2020 league title in the replay on August 9 following a 0-0 home draw with Zanaco at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola to settle for second tied on 50 points with a lesser goal difference to hand the Kitwe side a record 13th league title.
“We wish congratulate Nkana for their 13th title, it was well-deserved,” Kamanga said.
“It was delayed on Thursday but as you would expect destiny delayed, can never be destiny denied, so justice has been seen to be done if it was meant to be.
“Today (Sunday), they have walked away with the trophy and we congratulate them and again they have set a new milestone, a new standard, a 13th title.”
But Kamanga said his hands were constitutionally tied with regards verdicts of independent FAZ bodies.
“Now, what transpired was a few minutes before the conclusion of that Forest versus Napsa game, we just got a report that Forest had appealed the decision of the disciplinary committee where they were docked three points and then the appeals committee had sat that same day Thursday whilst the game was being played,” Kamanga said.
“So, when the Napsa game ended in favour of Forest, unfortunately we couldn’t proceed with the crowning because the appeals committee ordered that this game between Forest and Zanaco should be replayed.
“Of course it wasn’t a welcome decision, but I just want to emphasize is one thing, that it demonstrated was that our independent bodies or our judicial bodies work independently because at that point the decision of the appeals committee could not be overturned by the FAZ executive.
“So we just had to respect that judgment as a consequence, that is how we find ourselves having this game played today (Sunday).
“Of course others would argue and say the league should have concluded at the same time without this game being played but we have to respect the fact that this game was ordered by the appeals committee so it wasn’t a game set by the league committee.
“So it was an exceptional game, it is like respecting a court judgment. So that is the basis upon which this game took place.”