FIFA fines Zambia

Jeff Kapembwa

Lusaka – Despite humiliating the much daunted Algeria “Desert Foxes” 3-1 in the World Cup qualifying grudge match at Heroes Stadium in the capital, Lusaka, Zambia’s football governing body, FAZ, has been fined K69,000 for improper conduct by soccer fans.

Zambia had played Algeria on 2 September in the 2018  World Cup qualifier match at home and later went on to beat the Desert Foxes 1-0 at home in Algiers in a return leg barely five days after winning the first match at home.

However, the conduct of soccer fans cost Zambia. This was after some overzealous fans, excited by the host team’s victory over Algeria, started throwing various missiles on the pitch .

This prompted the visitors to launch a complain to the world football governing body, an appeal which has resulted in an imposition of a fine of K69,000.

“The world governing body FIFA has fined the Football Association of Zambia – FAZ – about K69,000 for improper conduct by football fans during the FIFA World Cup qualifier between Zambia and Algeria,” Desmond Katongo, the FAZ spokesperson is cited by the state owned broadcaster.

“FAZ will pay 7,000 Swiss francs for violating FIFA disciplinary code during the game played at the National heroes Stadium in Lusaka on September 2nd, 2017.”

Katongo, has since warned fans against misconduct during such matches lamenting that this has cost the country to part away with a huge amount of money due to some unruly football fans. There is need for football fans to exhibit the highest standard of behaviour whenever FAZ is hosting international matches.

Unless such conduct is avoided in future, the FA has warned it would take stern measures to avert a recurrence of such behaviour and could be forced to host international matches away from the Heroes Stadium.

This is the second time Zambia has been fined since 2014 when FIFA slapped a $56,000 fine for breaching player regulations after transferring eight players without any International Transfer Certificates (ITC) and outside the governing body’s International Transfer Matching System (ITMS).

The affected  premier league sides,  Power Dynamos and National Assembly were fined $28,000 each in the scandal while Zanaco were fined $22,000. This is despite the FA protesting against FIFA’s hefty fine on them over international transfer irregularities.

“If we are being punished for the statement as it reads on face value then it is wrong. If we are being punished for issuing a licence if you remember at the beginning of the season one or two players featured in one match before the FIFA was effected worldwide,” then FA spokesperson, Erick Mwanza had told Southern Times in an interview.

“The moment FIFA announced the ban was worldwide we withdrew that licence nobody played. So which transfer regulation did we flout, which ITC did we issue? Which TMS did we not go to?”

Zambia play Nigeria on 7 October in Uyo in a return match, after the Chipolopolo had earlier succumbed to a 1-2 defeat at home.  Zambia is lying second in group B with seven points while  Nigeria is topping the group, having garnered 10 points.

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