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FIFA to Dispatch Fact-Finding Mission to Zambia Amid AGM Dispute

The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) is set to host a delegation from FIFA following the indefinite postponement of its annual general meeting (AGM) scheduled for April 27, 2024.

FAZ President Andrew Kamanga revealed this development during an appearance on Supersport’s “Soccer Africa” show, citing the need for FIFA to understand the circumstances that led to the AGM’s abrupt halt.

The AGM was stalled due to an injunction obtained by two non-members, causing significant disruptions within FAZ. Kamanga mentioned that this unusual situation, involving third-party interference rather than direct government meddling, prompted FIFA’s intervention.

“As we speak today, the injunction has since been taken out of court, and FIFA indicated last week, they are sending a mission to come on a fact-finding mission to understand exactly what happened,” Kamanga stated.

Kamanga clarified that while he couldn’t predict FIFA’s actions regarding the potential establishment of a Normalisation Committee, he emphasized the distinct nature of this case compared to previous instances where such committees were formed due to executive failures. “The inability to hold the AGM as directed by FIFA remains problematic for Zambia,” he added.

In related news, Kamanga addressed issues concerning the national team and its coaching decisions. He backed Chipolopolo coach Avram Grant amid scrutiny over his 27-member provisional squad selection for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Morocco and Tanzania. Kamanga noted that Grant, who successfully led Zambia to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), is best positioned to explain his choices.

“The coach will address the matters around selection once the camp resumes after the weekend matches,” Kamanga said.

Reflecting on Zambia’s football ambitions, Kamanga expressed optimism about the national team’s prospects under Grant’s guidance.

“The minimum target for him was to qualify the team for AFCON, which he did, and now the goal is to qualify for the World Cup. His contract runs until the end of the year,” Kamanga mentioned.

On the women’s football front, Kamanga highlighted the success of the Copper Queens under coach Bruce Mwape. He acknowledged the challenges of maintaining high standards amid growing allegations of misconduct, stressing FAZ’s commitment to working with FIFA and law enforcement to address any issues.

“We have taken a lot of support from FIFA with safeguarding… ensuring that the environment where the players are has protection, whistleblowing is allowed,” he said.

Kamanga concluded by underscoring his efforts in implementing constitutional reforms within FAZ, aligning the association’s statutes with those of FIFA, and introducing term limits for office bearers to promote transparency and accountability in Zambian football governance.

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