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PRESIDENT’S CORNER: Let’s Keep Kalaba in Our Prayers

Sombre salutations from our football corner as we keep our ears to the ground over our hospitalized former Chipolopolo captain Rainford Kalaba. As almost everyone in the game already knows, Kalaba is admitted at the University Teaching Hospital Intensive Care Unit after being involved in a road traffic accident. Since his admission on Saturday, we have kept tabs on the situation and remain hopeful that he will eventually pull through.

The FAZ entourage led by vice president Justin Mumba and general secretary Reuben Kamanga were on hand straight from a tour of duty in Choma to see Kalaba hours after he had been admitted at the University Teaching Hospital on Saturday. On Sunday evening, we were able to visit Kalaba with the general secretary and other secretariat staff and were made aware of the tremendous efforts the medical staff are putting to help our champion recover. The medics are no doubt doing their best to ensure that he receives the best possible care and support. We are working closely with the authorities both the ministry of health and sports in making sure create the best possible environment for our champion to receive due care and treatment.

Our appeal to everyone is to keep the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations winning star in their prayers. On a sad note, we were taken aback by the ‘breaking news’ syndrome that characterized the announcement of his hospitalization. Despite our good efforts to ensure that due care was taken before making any major announcement on his health status, the runaway social media train had run ahead of everyone. We salute the police, with whom we were in touch with all the time that provided an accurate and timely update. There is no substitute for professionalism in such delicate moments and we had to rely on the police and health authorities before making any announcement. We are also grateful to the management at the University Teaching Hospital and family that were on hand to provide credible information along the way. We are mindful at all times of the family whose right to privacy deserves to be respected. We appeal to everyone to leave the dissemination of information to the authorities and the family.

On the field of play, we had exciting ABSA Cup quarterfinals match ups that saw Muza, Kabwe Warriors, Nchanga Rangers and Red Arrows qualify to the semifinals. It was good to see a team from the lower division making it to the last four of competition adding an exciting touch. We salute the hundreds of fans that turned up on both days to fill up Nkoloma Stadium. The fans are the lifeblood of football and we are forever grateful for their support. A big thank you to the sponsors, ABSA Bank for making this year’s tournament even bigger. We are grateful to SuperSport and Zamtel who are additional partners that have added colour to the ABSA Cup.

Finally, our under-17 girls will be kick starting their two legged third round FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Uganda. We host Uganda on May 12 in the first leg and wind up away. Having convincingly beaten Tanzania in the last round, we will be looking to pick up from where we left. We will be liaising with the technical bench to ensure that our preparations are befitting of our ambitions and targets.

May I sign off by thanking the delegates at the Southern Province annual general meeting that had a seamless assembly. We were also privileged to have interacted and conferred with provincial minister Credo Nanjuwa and area member of parliament Cornelius Mweetwa. It was a fulfilling engagement for the good of our game.

Have a productive week.

Credit: FAZ Media 

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