Learn from Kalu, Simataa urges football administrators

Banned Football administrator Simataa Simataa has has asked other soccer administrators to learn from the misfortune of football legend Kalusha Bwalya’s ban from soccer.

And Simataa has denied being the one who necessitated the ban, saying it was actually FAZ President Andrew Kamanga’s insistence to seek justice over corruption allegations that yielded the results.

Football’s world governing body FIFA banned Bwalya from all soccer-related activities after he was found guilty of receiving US$80,000 in bribes and has further ordered him to pay US$100,000

Commenting on the development, Simataa said Kamanga had vowed to get back the $80,000 that Bwalya alleged received from Mohamed bin Hammam and that his insistence to continuously write FIFA over the allegations resulted in Bwalya’s ban.

“Following the two year global ban that has been meted out on Mr. Kalusha Bwalya by football’s mother body Fifa, a lot has been said. Some have linked me to the same. This is particularly because in 2015, I wrote a letter to Fifa asking the federation to investigate Mr. Bwalya for having received $80,000 from Mr. Mohamed bin Hammam on behalf of the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ). I have to say firstly with hindsight that I have no regrets for having written such a letter because the situation at the time demanded so. Secondly, because of the nature of the revelations and allegations against Kalusha in the Bin Hammam case and Kalu’s status in African and Zambian football, there was, expectedly, a mixed reaction to my appeal to FIFA in local circles. I was abused by many and praised by others, including some involved now at football house,” Simataa said.

“For those that care to remember, soon after writing to Fifa, my letter fell aside in the corridors of the federation because the then Fifa president Mr. Sepp Blatter later met with different African FA presidents in South Africa who included the 30 suspected to be recipients of money from Mr Bin Hammam. After the meeting, FIFA no longer investigated them. FIFA rather became interested in the bigger fish. Additionally, FIFA never replied or indicated any further direction after my letter. As far as I am concerned, the case closed. This fact is further confirmed by Fifa, who in their statement announcing Mr Bwalya’s ban last Friday, stated; ‘The investigation against Mr Bwalya was opened on 28 February 2017, and focused principally on benefits that Mr Bwalya had received from Mr Bin Hammam.’ Clearly, the ban on Mr Bwalya was not necessitated by my letter of 2015 but by Faz’s insistence or subsequent letters long after my initial letter to Fifa. This is confirmed by newspaper cuttings doing rounds where Mr Kamanga vowed he would ensure that FAZ got back the $80,000.”

He said Bwalya’s ban should be a reminder to Zambians to seek good governance practices at all times especially when one is entrusted with public office.

“With that above explanation, I wish to state that Mr Bwalya’s ban is not a matter to celebrate about but rather a challenge to all of us to at all times remind ourselves of good corporate governance practises when entrusted with public office. I empathise with Mr. Bwalya as a human being and family man. He is not only an icon of our football but his contribution to our sport will never be erased. Against this background, my honest advice to him would be not to appeal his ban because he will not get any justice under the current Fifa administration—he is viewed as a sympathiser of the Blatter administration. Ideally, the best advocates for Mr Bwalya’s justice are unfortunately the perpetrators of the current situation. This pro Gianni Infantinio Fifa led executive would have been the best people to seek justice on Mr. Bwalya’s behalf. I have no doubt Mr. Bwalya can bounce back after serving his ban; stronger and wiser,” said Simataa.

         

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