By Daily Nation Sports Reporter
FOOTBALL Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Andrew Kamanga says his relationship with soccer icon Kalusha Bwalya is “very bad”.
Speaking at the public discussion organised by the Press Freedom Committee of the Post on Wednesday night at Lusaka’s Southern Sun hotel, the FAZ president exposed that his relationship with Kalusha turned sourer last Sunday when the two exchanged words on phone.
“Unfortunately my relationship with Kalusha is very bad. I am one person who doesn’t quickly react to assertions but every leader has a limit what you can tolerate and that limit came on Sunday,
“My encounter with Kalusha’s vuvuzela named Godfrey Chikumbi who has been using social media to discredit my name even before I was elected as FAZ president caused my bitter encounter with my predecessor on Sunday,”” he said
Kamanga said Chikumbi posted on his Facebook page that he had been invited by Boko Haram to officiate at a Nigerian tournament for U-13 kids as opposed to Kalusha who was invited by the United Nations.
“And you know how serious the issue of Boko Haram is in West Africa for someone to easily make a joke of it,” he said
Kamanga said it was then that he exchanged text messages with Chikumbi which led to Kalusha calling him.
“I wrote to Chikumbi through text messaging to take the nonsense from me. But he continued with his bitter writing, and then I said “Please take that Kalu nonsense from me or shall deal with you firmly”. Barely 10 minutes after, Kalusha phoned over the same,” he said.
He said it was shocking that Kalusha , a man of his calibre would use individuals like Chikumbi to fight him. “I am happy that Kalusha was invited to play in a tournament by the UN. He has achieved a lot as a player, coach and administrator hence deserves to be our flag carrier.
“It is for this reason that I feel Kalusha can speak with me on an administrative level and not use individuals like Chikumbi to air his concerns. It is indeed very unfortunate, “he said.
Kamanga stated that he had sought police help to firmly put fake proclaimed journalist Chikumbi in his right place. Meanwhile, the FAZ president said the association will overhaul the national team technical bench immediately after the COSAFA tournament.
He said the qualification to the Russia 2018 World Cup was a must and the urgency to employ a permanent coach.
“We have had situations in which George Lwandamina had to take leave from the national team to fulfil his duties at Zesco. But I can confirm that a permanent coach will be employed before the World Cup qualifiers,” he said.
He said he will ensure the team is adequately prepared which called for the inclusion of other in form players to storm the Russia finals.
He said he will ensure there is transparency in terms of player selection with the coach required to give justification on the inclusion of each player to the team.
“We have not being able to employ a permanent coach because government doesn’t have money. But we are working on modalities on how we can sustain the payment of the coach’s salary in the near future.
On the issue of player selection, once the technical committee is fully operational, it will work together with the coach. But I must state that the selection of players is the coaches’ discretion. I don’t want to be involved in any way,” he said.
And Kamanga revealed that FAZ would employ a permanent national team coach before Zambia begun her campaign for the 2018 World Cup qualification in October.