DEFENDING champions, ‘Men at Work’ Diggers, face a chop from the Knock Out Cup following a petition by Zambia Rugby Union (ZRU) B League side, Nkwazi on the Kitwe side’s alleged use of two ineligible players.
Nkwazi claim that Diggers used two players namely, Billy Maipambe and Robert Chilundami in their semi final match after the duo had earlier featured for the Diggers B side that eliminated Green Buffaloes in the pre-quarterfinal stage.
Diggers B beat Buffaloes 12-10 but were thrashed 30-0 by Nkwazi in the quarterfinals; Nkwazi consequently advanced to the semi finals where they lost 12-10 to Diggers A.
This was during the double header semi finals played at the Green Eagles grounds in Kabwe that saw ‘Powerhouse’ Lusaka beat ‘Killer Bees’ Ndola Wanderers 7-0 in the other match.
The midlands side in their petition said Diggers’ use of the two players was against the rules of the game and also alleged that Mufulira-based referee Paul Bwalya was incompetent to handle the match as evidenced by his basis officiating.
Nkwazi in their petition accused Bwalya of awarding scrums where he should have given penalties, adding that the club had earlier written to the ZRU requesting them for change of the referee; a request which was denied on the basis that a club cannot decide which match official should officiate a particular match.
“I would also like to bring to your attention that Diggers A fielded players that featured in the Diggers B team that played against Buffaloes in the quarter finals namely Billy Maipambe and Robert Chilundami. Can a player play for two different teams in one tournament,” read Nkwazi petition in part.
And ZRU general secretary, Francis Chitambo in an interview yesterday confirmed the postponement of the finals between Diggers and ‘Powerhouse’ Lusaka to next weekend to enable the disciplinary committee table the matter this weekend.
Chitambo said neutral justice demands that the matter should be heard before the final match is played and hence the reason for the postponement of the final that was slated for the Kitwe Playing Fields (KPF) at the weekend.