MUKWIMA CHILALA writes
FORMER Lusaka Tigers chairman Sam Phiri has refuted claims by Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa that he was the man behind the team’s qualification to the Super Division in 2014.
Phiri says there was no one that was helping Lusaka Tigers when it was in the lower Division as he was the sole sponsor of the Materobased team not until it qualified to the super league in 2014.
Sampa on Wednesday castigated Lusaka Tigers executive saying that the team had gone down during their reign when during his time as Member of Parliament for Matero, he brought the team from the lower league into the Super league.
But Phiri said he was the sole sponsor of the team during its time from the second tier league in Division two, up to division one and finally the Super league.
He said that it was not until the team made it to the elite league that individuals and institutions started to partner with the team.
“There was no one supporting us when we were playing in the lower league until we made it to play premier and we played. But due to resources we could not sustain the team in the super division and it went down. So where the team is right now everybody can see that it is not supported and it can actually go into oblivion from what I see myself unless we all pull together and say look this is our team and let us support it,” Phiri said.
“People maybe saying big words but what I know about that team is that when we were in amateur, I was the only person who was supporting the team. I was the only one who had a hand for that team until we got into the super division, we ended up getting demoted but up to now no one has resuscitated the team,” he said.
Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa has been in a scuffle with Matero Tigers executive over ownership of the stadium to which the former owns a 10 year lease which ends in 2021.