ootball Association of Zambia (FAZ) general secretary Adrian Kashala has revealed to Goal Diggers that the association has been served with a court injunction which has forced them to halt the elections that being held across the country.
Meanwhile, Kashala lamented that the country risks being banned if appropriate action is taken by FIFA against those who have made the move to force the association to bring the electoral process to a stand still.
In an interview, Kashala said the association has given in and decided to heed to the court injunction served on them, adding that the matter will however be brought before the attention of FIFA.
He said Zambia risks being penalised because of the continuous squabbles in the soccer fraternity.
“Yes, we have received an injunction. I think I indicated earlier on from the time we started hosting the elections that there were some people who wanted to stop us from proceeding with the elections. We knew this from a long time ago that several individuals are not happy that we have gone ahead with the elections despite us doing the right thing and following procedure in whatever we are doing. So today, they came to the office and served us with an injunction to stop us from going ahead with the elections that have been on going. And as I am talking to you, we have just received that document and we have decided to do what they want. We have decided to halt the elections to see what they want to do,” Kashala said.
“And I’m sure they know the implications of this. Ever since we started these elections, we have always corresponded with FIFA to get guidance and ensure that we are always doing the right thing and we have nothing to hide.”
He said the association has no option but to report to FIFA the current happenings.
“We will inform FIFA regarding the happening here in the country, the most recent one regarding this injunction. Unfortunately, the same people who are doing this do not care whether we are banned or not. I hope they know the consequences because it seems they don’t care what happens. We have always been served with injunctions and this is the third one. And the funny thing is that we are not given reasons why these injunctions are being served,” Kashala said.
Only three days ago, FIFA directed the association to go ahead with the elections, warning that the country would be sanctioned should a third party influence any decision-making processes at FAZ.
“In this regard we refer you to article 63 of the FAZ statutes which state that disputes in FAZ should not be taken to ordinary courts unless specifically provided otherwise by these statutes, FIFA regulations and legal provisions. We understand that the aforementioned article is in line with one of FIFA’s core principles contained in article 59 par 2 of FIFA statutes that is, the prohibition of recourse to ordinary courts of law unless specifically provided for. FIFA takes such a principle with the outermost seriousness and therefore considers that it is the responsibility of its member association to ensure that this principle is implemented at their level through a binding obligation on their own members,” FIFA stated. “Moreover, we would like to remind FAZ that FIFA attaches importance to the obligation of all its member associations to manage their affairs independently and ensure that all its affairs are not influenced by any third party. We further wish to underline that the violation of the obligations laid down by FAZ or its members may lead to sanctions as provided for in the FIFA statutes, including a possible suspension.”
If suspended, Zambia would with immediate effect be banned from participating in all soccer related activities.
The implication is that no Zambian team or club would be allowed to play regional, continental or international competitions, including the Olympic games where Shepolopolo recently qualified to participate in.
The local league would be allowed to go on but the winners or the top four would not qualify for CAF champions league or the Confederations Cup.
Meanwhile, FAZ has indicated that it is monitoring the Coronavirus situation across the country to determine whether all soccer related activities should be suspended.
Kashala said measures have however been taken to ensure that the sport does not contribute to the spread of the pandemic.
“All I can say for now is that we are monitoring the situation with relevant authorities and if need be, we will take necessary measures, including stopping all football activities if the virus spreads to in Zambia. But even as of now, we have already been taking the necessary measures to ensure that no one becomes victim to the disease,” said Kashala said.