THE Zambia Tennis Association (ZTA) has banned player, Hector Sando from all tennis activities for one year for unruly behaviour during the just-ended five-day Zambia Open International championship held at Lusaka Tennis Club.
ZTA president Tolani Zulu said tennis is a sport that calls for discipline, decency and upright morals among players and that the association would not tolerate any player defiling the rules.
The disciplinary committee that sat after the competition unanimously decided to ban Sando for fighting and declared him ineligible to participate in any ZTA-organised competitions during his suspension.
"As an association, we have banned Sando. This means he shall not be allowed to take part in any ZTA events until he is cleared.
"His club will be immediately informed of the disciplinary action for bringing the name of the game into disrepute and conduct contrary to the integrity of the game," Zulu said.
And Sports Council of Zambia (SCZ) board member Maxwell Sichula, who was guest of honour at the prize presentation ceremony, said Government, through the Sports Council, was ready to sponsor all sports disciplines in the country.
Sichula said the Government was committed to sponsoring sports and to see to it that the sector developed to higher standards.
He added that no sport was more important than the other.
"Government through the Sports Council is committed in sponsoring all sports disciplines, especially the minor ones.
"We should not only support one particular sport, but all the sports codes we have in the country for the development of the sport," Sichula said.
He commended ZTA for reviving the Zambia Open Tennis championship that was last held some 20 years ago.
He said sport was a unifying factor that brought people from different backgrounds together and urged the youth to take up sport as it promoted good health.
And African Bulk Earth Works chief executive officer Hugo Mulenga donated K3 million to the association for the development of tennis.
Mulenga, who is a United States of America certified coach, said he decided to give back to the sport that he loved with a passion.
"I have decided to give back to the sport I love. In my own small way I have donated K3 million to the association to help in the development of the sport," Mulenga said.
The Zambia Open tennis tournament main sponsors were First Quantum Minerals and Barclays Bank Plc.