Sports Minister Emmanuel Mulenga says President Lungu made the decision following a meeting with Ministry officials saying the move was in a bid to motivate the players.
Speaking during the unveiling of the latest ‘CoPa’ Chipolopolo jersey in Lusaka, Mulenga said the President further instructed the ministry to pay coaches and players on time and ensure that there were no outstanding balances.
“I should mention that due to austerity measures being implemented, the allowances of players, the winning allowances were reduced to $1500. But this morning when we had a meeting with the FAZ patron President Edgar Lungu, he indicated to pass on the message that if the national team wins in Algeria, they will be given $3500 each which is equivalent to K48, 000 per player. And this money will be passed on to my ministry next week. So that as they win that money is passed on to the players. And he actually instructed me to ensure that as a ministry we ensure that all players are paid on time and that all coaches are paid on time so that there is no outstanding balances for any player or coach.”
And Mulenga says the decision by the Football Association to introduce a new Jersey was timely as a number of football teams in the country were bidding for qualification in various tournaments.
“This occasion coincides with a favourable time for Zambian football. We are about to witness two Olympic qualifications by the Women’s and Under 23 Mens teams as well as the commencement of our bid for the next Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) trophy. There is no doubt in my mind that there is no better time than today to launch a new kit.”
“Our national colours are a representation of our land, resources, people and national pride. The Eagle demonstrates our ability to soar over any adversity. These are the basic elements of the national team jerseys and over the years we have seen different kits unveiled by FAZ. However, this launch is unique because it is a result of public consultation and backed by years of experience.”
At the same occasion, FAZ president Andrew Kamanga says the new kit is a product of wide consultation adding that it will thus be a true reflection of Zambian pride.
“In our over a year of kitting our teams in the KoPa brand, we have always strived to improve our brand. We have always taken on board the public’s commendations and denunciations of the home grown brand. It is out of this feedback that FAZ gladly undertook this exercise to improve on the KoPa brand that has fast emerged as a people’s brand. Arising from this widely inclusive process emerged the designs that we are unveiling today. They are products that are testament of the industriousness of Zambians. We are confident that the design answers to the various concerns raised by the public and will make the product a true reflection of Zambian pride.”