THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has warned players against using unlicensed agents when trying to secure professional contracts.
FAZ Media and Communications manager Erick Mwanza said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the association was following keenly what happened to Chipolopolo defender Stoppila Sunzu with great concern.
Mwanza said while FAZ did not own a player, footballers should use recognised FIFA player agents because it becomes easier for the association or any other international federation to intervene if there was a problem.
"We have been following Sunzu's events closely as we, despite not being the owners of the players, want the best for our players who form the core of the Chipolopolo. But we can merely advise and it is up to the players to take or leave the advice given.
"We want all our players to be playing in their respective leagues and it is sad that Sunzu will not be playing in the CAF Champions League but we are not worried as we know he is a top professional," he said.
Mwanza said FAZ was concerned about the players' welfare as that could have an adverse impact on them when featuring for the national team and that he has happy that TP Mazembe president Moses Katumbi intervened in the matter to ensure that the player was settled.
Mwanza said it would be easy if players used Zambia's only registered agent Chiti Chitundu or seek his advice as it would be easy for FAZ to engage them unlike agents who were not registered with their football associations or FIFA.
Meanwhile, Government has said it was still waiting for a report from FAZ and Sports Council of Zambia (SCZ) on a contract dispute that shattered Stoppila Sunzu's transfer to England Premier League side Reading.
Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili said on Tuesday that he was still waiting for a report from the two parties as he could not dwell much on Sunzu's failed transfer because doing so when a report from FAZ and SCZ was still pending would be prejudicial.
Sunzu passed assessment and medicals at Reading just before the start of the recently concluded Orange 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa but lost interest after a contract dispute erupted between his agent Paul Carew and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) side TP Mazembe.
Carew told Reading that Sunzu was a free agent, saying the three-year contract he signed with Mazembe in 2009 ended in December, while the DRC side maintained that the player was contracted to the outfit for five years from 2010 until 2015.
After being AWOL from the time Zambia was eliminated at the Orange 2013 Africa Cup, Sunzu returned to Mazembe last week for 'peace talks' with the team's Proprietor Moses Katumbi.