MATHEWS NDANDULA writes
THE Forest Rangers vs Zanaco FC will decide the league winners of the 2019/20 Zambian Premier League today.
Speaking during a media briefing at Football House, Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) general secretary Adrian Kashala said Forest Rangers’ appeal regarding docked points an un-played fixture was handled by the Disciplinary Committee within 24hrs and no delay was intentional as fans are claiming.
“Procedures are followed, in as far as this disciplinary cases are concerned … Zanaco FC first complained after all those issues that happened in Ndola and we were also disturbed that the game would not go on, being the game that was to set the tone for the League,” Kashaladisclosed.
“I think we also didn’t like the way Forest Rangers conducted itself in failing to comply with the health guidelines as well as the Constitution and then on 27th July the Disciplinary Committee decided on the case. On 30th July a decision was communicated to Forest Rangers then according to article 43 and 45 of the disciplinary committee Forest had 14 days to appeal against the decision “So they had up to 10th August and we received the appeal on Wednesday which was 5th August around 15:00 hours and we submitted that particular file the very same day … we emphasised to the appeals committed that the decision should be made maybe before close of business as of Wednesday, but in their response they stated that they needed to study the case.”
Kashala said it was further noted that one member of the disciplinary committee, chairman Sukwana Lukangaba, was not a only joined the committee meeting around 12:00 hours on Thursday and reached a decision on the appeal case while the last match of Week 27 was being played.
“We received communication that they had decided on that particular piece … while they games were already underway so we also had to write now because what happens is when the disciplinary committee delivers their decision they pass it on to FAZ and we communicate to the club.
“So we communicated to Forest yesterday [Friday] and Zanaco wasn’t happy. We too were also shocked that we still have that decision of a replay after we announced the closure of the League,”Kashala said.
“Let me also emphasise the need to allow these judicial bodies to work independently so I think the situation where one thinks maybe the president or general secretary or any member of staff have the capability to interfere in these cases is not there and we have to be respected as individuals.
“Of course we hold offices and if people want to criticise of course the offices that we hold and not be personal like what we are seeing currently in the manner things are happening. We are also not happy at the conduct exhibited by Nkana and we expecting Nkana fans and officials to be the very last people to complain loudest because they have been beneficiaries in most of these decisions made by the judicial bodies.
“Last year, if I take you back they benefitted about 9 points from the same judicial bodies they are insulting today. This year we may be talking of about 6 points to themselves.”
He added that today’s match will be the decider of the season champion and the log standings at Week 27 will determine teams to be relegated.