On Thursday January 5, 2016 Kalaba, who is a Chipolopolo skipper, missed out on CAF African Footballer of the year based in Africa Award.
Kalaba polled 206 votes while Zimbabwean Khama Billiat and Winner Denis Onyango who got 228 and 252 respectively.
But when CAF released a total tally of votes indicating that Kalusha, the former Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) president, put Zimbabwe’s Karma Billiat and Ugandan Denis Onyango ahead of Zambian midfield Maestro Rainford Kalaba today, soccer fans took their rage to social media.
According to posts monitored on Facebook and Twitter, some soccer fans felt that the 1988 African footballer of the year was not being patriotic.
Ephraim Shitima wrote: “Who doesn’t know Kalusha and his belief in maintaining his status as the only Zambian to be crowned Africa footballer of the year 1988, though Kalaba was contesting a different award?”
Kabwe Vhima wrote: “When he was asking for his CAF endorsement letter he said let’s support our own, but once he has that, he uses it to block his compatriots, who does that? Let him not be bitter!!!”
Kajoba Benjamin wrote: “I’m disappointed with the big man and it’s not a surprise cos Kalusha never wants any Zambian player to beat his record, he would rather give a vote to a foreigner than a fellow Zambian. That PHD mentality!”
However, a few came to Kalusha’s defence, saying his votes where on merit.
Bonaventure Yombwe wrote: “One thing people must know is that Kalusha Bwalya sits on the technical committee because of his competences and qualifications as a soccer technical expert not because he is a Zambian. He exercised impartiality and professionalism when he casted the vote. Let’s not create false alarms.”
Kalusha ,who is part of the CAF technical and development committee, gave his first vote to Zimbabwean Khama Billiat giving him five points, while his second vote went to eventual winner Denis Onyango, giving him four points and his third vote went to Kalaba, giving him only three points.
However, the Chipolopolo technical bench gave their full support to Kalaba, giving him their first vote which carried five points.
Kalaba polled 206 votes behind Zimbabwean Khama Billiat and Winner Denis Onyango who got 228 and 252 respectively to lose the award for the second time after making the top three shortlist in 2012.