13 November 2012

Zambia: Celtic Demands Stiffer Punishment for Clubs Missing Games

BITTER MTN-FAZ Division-One South side Kafue Celtic has reacted angrily on missing out on promotion to the elite league and has demanded that clubs failing to fulfil league fixtures should be given heavy punishment in order to help protect the game of football.

Speaking in an interview after FAZ ruled that Celtic would not be playing premier football next year, club secretary Chisenga Ng'uni said it was unfortunate that clubs were deciding to stay away from crucial games and getting light punishment.

Celtic came off the losing side of a bitter row with Zambia Police outfit Nkwazi who eventually got promoted to the MTN-FAZ Super Division after an unfulfilled closing fixture against Kascol Rangers of Mazabuka.

For failing to travel for the game and handing Nkwazi the key three points that saw them get promoted ahead of Celtic, Kascol were fined just K1million.

But Ng'uni said that the K1 million fine was too little and was not serving as a deterrent to clubs not managing to fulfil fixtures adding Celtic was deeply grieved by the outcome.

"The rules regarding un-played games need to be worked on. They are too weak and punishment is too light. Punishment should be stiff so that all clubs are compelled to fulfil fixtures whether they are demoted or not.

"It's unfortunate that at a crucial stage of the league and promotion is to be decided, a team decides not to travel without a proper reason when other clubs have played and worked hard all year with huge investments in the teams," he said.

On a crucial last day of Division One fixtures, where two points separated Kafue Celtic and Nkwazi in race for the one remaining promotion place, Nkwazi's opponents Kasco decided to stay home in Mazabuka, just 100 kilometres from Lusaka while Celtic battled to a 1-0 home win over Chilenje Youth Academy.

The failure to travel handed Nkwazi the three points which saw them stay a tab ahead of Celtic to win promotion with the latter taking the matter to FAZ asking for the Nkwazi game to be played.

The matter was forwarded to the disciplinary committee.

The committee ruled that Nkwazi deserved the three points and fined Kascol K1million, the same fine meted to Luena Buffaloes who also stayed home on the same day in a match which was also key to promotion against Kabwe Warriors.

In accepting the verdict, Ng'uni wished Nkwazi well in the Premier Division and called for calm among Celtic fans especially after two consecutive and painful promotion failures, last year coming on inferior goal difference with Napsa Stars.

"Our fans should remain calm and support us as they have always done, we are a football team and we shall continue playing the game on the pitch and not the boardroom. Premier football will one day soon come to Khosa Stadium," he said.

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