27 June 2012

Zambia: Afcon Cost Zambia K12 Billion

Photo: Confederation of African Football.
K1,233,170,000 was used to prepare the national soccer team for the title-winning campaign at the January 21 to February 12, 2012 AFCON finals.

PARLIAMENT yesterday heard that more than K1 billion was spent on the national soccer team's outing to this year's Africa Cup of Nations co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Sports Deputy Minister, Nathaniel Mubukwanu said K1,233,170,000 was used to prepare the national soccer team for the title-winning campaign at the January 21 to February 12, 2012 AFCON finals.

He said from that, a block amount of K524,188,108 was spent on the team's lodging and boarding while a further K650,715,892 went towards daily allowances.

Mubukwanu, who is Mongu Central Patriotic Front (PF) Member of Parliament (MP), told the House that K58,266,000 was spent on air tickets.

He was responding to a question from Chilubi (PF) Member of Parliament Obvious Chisala who wanted to know how much was spent on preparations for the 2012 AFCON and how much was spent on the upkeep and winning bonuses for the players during the tournament.

The deputy minister also said a total of K11,508,483,250 was spent on winning bonuses. During the group stages, the team got K1,807,300,000 while K2,316,100, 000 was paid to them for reaching the quarter-finals.

The Chipolopolo gobbled K2,851,400,150 for reaching the semi-finals before netting K3,305,000,000 when they made history by winning Zambia's first AFCON title following the historical victory over favourites, Ivory Coast who they beat 8-7 on post-match penalties following a goalless draw played in regulation time and extra time.

And Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili told Parliament that it was because of the good policies of the PF that the Chipolopolo won the AFCON title.

Kambwili's statement drew jeers from the opposition side of the House but the Roan PF MP went some way to justify how his Government had facilitated the success of Herve Renard's men.

"I can justify why am saying it's because of the PF that the team won.

"Under MMD, Bonetti was brought in without consulting FAZ. There was a lot of fighting between the Ministry of Sports and FAZ. There was no sanity whatsoever," he said.

Kambwili accused the MMD government of having refused to camp the team in South Africa and instead wanted them to prepare in Ndola but that after the PF was voted into office, they granted the wish of preparing for the team in the 'Rainbow Nation', saying the results were there for all to see.

The minister also said under the previous government, there was no budget in place for the Chipolopolo and that it was clear that the ministry wanted FAZ to fail as evidenced by the incessant fighting.

Asked by Lukulu West (MMD) MP Christopher Kalila where the Government sourced the money for the preparation of the team and the subsequent participation in the AFCON which was not in the budget, Kambwili said the money came from contingency funds within the treasury.

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