6 February 2013

South Africa/Zambia: Zambian FA President Forces Suspension of TV Soccer Analyst in South Africa

A leading soccer analyst, Mamadou Gaye, has been handed an indefinite suspension at a South African satellite television channel - SuperSport - for taking a hard-line stance against Zambian Football Association boss Kalusha Bwalya and 2012 Afcon champions, Chipolopolo.

Reports indicate that Bwalya complained to the mega pay television sports channel about Gaye's comments, particularly after Chipolopolo were handed a controversial penalty, against Nigeria to draw a Group C tie 1-all on January 25.

Gaye, who hails from Ivory Coast but a regular feature on SuperSport, accused the Zambia soccer team of benefiting from dubious decisions by referees because of Bwalya's position on the Confederation of African Football board where he is committee member.

Gaye, according to bolazambia.com, has confirmed being asked to step aside for the time being.

"I was booked to do certain games for the Africa Cup [but] I was just called not to come to studio in the meantime," he is quoted.

Social media in Zambia has during the tournament been dominated by anti Gaye discussions for predicting Chipolopolo will be eliminated in the first round of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

Zambians also celebrated the elimination of Ivory Coast at quarterfinal stage to Nigeria as a way of getting at Gaye.

SuperSport head of director Clinton van de Berg, however, was non-committal on Gaye's suspension stating, "Mamadou Gaye is a freelance analyst on SuperSport and we reserve the prerogative to schedule him as and when the need arises."

Gaye, a regular panelist on a weekly SuperSport magazine show dubbed Soccer Africa, says he does not habour hatred for Bwalya or Zambia but only maintained his principle of being honest with his audience.

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