26 February 2013

Zambia: FAZ to Register Banned Players

THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has said the eight Zambian players, who were convicted in the Finnish courts for various match fixing scandals, will be registered to play for local clubs that have expressed interest in their services.

FAZ communications manager, Erick Mwanza, however, said their return to football would be determined after they complete serving the worldwide ban and also conclude the process of re-registration at the end of their suspensions and recalling of their International Transfer Certificates (ITC's) from Finland through the FIFA Transfer Matching System (TMS).

Mwanza said in a statement yesterday that so far no ITC of the eight players involved in match fixing had been recalled from Finland.

"We believe that having been involved in such illicit and abhorrent acts and serving their respective football bans, the players have learned their lessons and will now be looking forward to bettering their lives," he said.

Mwanza said FAZ had never condoned or tolerated any acts of match fixing.

He said FAZ could however, not punish or vilify them forever because football was their livelihood and that they were Zambians.

He said the Zambian league was their only hope where they could have an opportunity to restart their careers.

"While we will re-register the players under review, FAZ will however, monitor them closely and play a fatherly role in their continued rehabilitation," he said.

Mwanza said FAZ had not yet received the players and their respective clubs' requests for registration for 2013.

The FAZ spokesperson said once their ITCS were returned by the Finland Football Association, the process for local registration would commence.

"FAZ will wait for the ITC's recall and not exercise its discretion for interim registration because of the nature of the case," he said.

In line with worldwide trends, Mwanza said FAZ would be monitoring the behaviour of not only players but match and club officials to ensure the game of football in Zambia was played according to the basic tenets of the game - fair play at all levels.

The affected players, who were linked to taking bribes from Singaporean match fixer, Wilson Raj Perumal to help Asian organised criminals arrange betting coups, are Godfrey Chibanga, Chileshe Chibwe, Steven Kunda, Christopher Musonda, Chanda Mwaba, Nchimunya Mweetwa and the Yobe brothers, Donwell and Dominic.

FIFA, the world football governing body, has since launched investigations against FAZ over allegations that the banned players had returned to action.

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