FAZ President Andrew Kamanga has urged local clubs to upgrade their stadia in line with international standards.
Kamanga’s appeal comes after last Saturday’s Super Division match between Nkana and Nkwazi saw the entire second half played on a waterlogged pitch at Edwin Imboela Stadium in Lusaka following a heavy downpour.
The pitch at Imboela could not quickly drain rainy water thereby negatively affecting play.
Writing in his weekly column dubbed the Presidents Corner; Kamanga stated that Football House will engage members on the possible ways of ensuring that stadium upgrade takes priority.
“The debate about stadia is almost always sparked each time we have heavy rains or storm during matches. We know where we are coming from with the change of calendar that was done to align our season with the FIFA/CAF schedule. Rather, than complain about playing our games in the rainy season we must take up the challenge as an opportunity to work on our infrastructure,” he wrote.
“It is regrettable that our clubs have not been aggressively responsive in ensuring that infrastructure is upgraded to match up the level of exposure they have had playing on the continent. With strict CAF standards for hosting continental matches, it would be good to be forward looking for clubs that have targeted CAF participation to work on the football infrastructure,” Kamanga said.
“Some of the challenges around stadia upgrade do not necessarily require money but only a little effort. The dream of every club would be to host their CAF matches at their home turf which maximizes the proverbial home ground advantage. The easiest way out would be to demand that the nation revert to the old calendar, but it would be setting us several steps backwards. It may be easy to forget that even the old calendar had part of it played in the rainy season,” he said.