FRANCIS CHIPALO writes
Accountability will be key to attracting corporate sponsorship during 2019, says the Zambia Sports Fans Association (ZASPOFA).
The association has also advised sports federations and associations to lessen dependency on government support if they are to record meaningful positive results in future.
Speaking in an interview in Lusaka, ZASPOFA Patron Peter Makembo observed that sports associations and administrators should be accountable in their dealings in order to easily attract support from the corporate world.
“As the mother body of sports fans in our country, we feel that we did not do well in 2018 in terms of participation in various competitions especially at international level. This is because associations struggled to raise funds to sponsor athletes,” Makembo said.
He said the corporate world is the major sponsor of sport in other countries because administrators are transparent in their dealings.
He urged local sports administrators to approach the business community for sponsorship.
ZASPOFA Patron Peter Makembo with Zambian soccer fans
He said no sponsor will come on board if associations are not transparent in managing respective sports disciplines.
“We also want to urge the National Sports Council of Zambia to be more vibrant this time around and not wait for government support. Let them roll-out their net and approach the corporate world for sponsorship,” he said.
Makembo observed that Zambia, as compared to other countries, rarely sends many athletes to major world tournaments due to lack of funds.
“That is the reason other countries record more medals at international or world events because they send a lot of athletes for such competitions. We can also do that but we are unable to do it because our associations simply don’t have funds,” he added.
Some of the associations that have in the recent past struggled to raise funds for international events include the Zambia Boxing Federation.
A number of sports associations have previously accused the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Child Development (MYSCD) of being biased towards soccer in allocation of funds, especially the national football team despite its poor performance.
But Minister Moses Mawere has however denied the accusations saying that his government will always endeavor to give support to all sports associations.
He echoed Makembo’s advice to sports administrators on the need for them to be transparent and accountable in their dealings.