With the official Chipolopolo replica jersey yet to hit the market, black market traders have taken the initiative by rolling out counterfeit Mafro kit.
Despite the official replica having been launched in June, there has been no available replica on the market.
Sports writer Mike Mubanga has lost patience with the status quo and sent out a memo on his Facebook wall over the unfolding circus.
BELOW IS HIS POSTING:
'Delay in FAZ offloading official replicas has left room for hijackers, Chakanas, to flourish on the black market'
On Thursday, 8 June, 2017, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) launched the official Chipolopolo Boys replica in front of dozens of journalists, stakeholders and a handful of fans at the Levy Mwanawasa stadium in Ndola.
The high table, comprising FAZ president Andrew Kamanga, general secretary Ponga Liwewe and his deputy Lombe Mbalashi all delivered a strong message towards persons in a perennial habit of producing fake national team replicas.
"Only FAZ and Mafro are allowed to produce material related to the national team. If anyone is found reproducing the replica without the authorities of FAZ and Mafro, he or she will be arrested and the materials will be confiscated as we will be working hand in hand with the counterfeit unit (at the Zambia Police)," Mbalashi warned.
Two months after the warning was delivered, Mafro replicas in a cocktail of other fake jerseys such as those of Power Dynamos and Zanaco have flooded the black market in Lusaka with the known streets not left out in the business.
While unsuspecting supporters will have no idea what is going on as they seek to buy the jersey in readiness for this Saturday's CHAN final round, return leg qualifier match against South Africa set for this weekend, I am not shocked that the fake Chipolopolo replica is on the market.
It is now close to two months since the Mafro deal was signed, and the teething problems regarding the $400,000 two year deal seem to be never-ending.
The delay in making available the replica to soccer fans has caused some businessmen and women to involve themselves in dealing with fake products because Football House is not yet to provide originals to fans.
The process of making available the replicas is too slow, and this snail's pace will lead to losses as FAZ will have very few customers at the expense of the black market business, which has now spread to Central and Copperbelt provinces.
FAZ should quickly act and guard against counterfeit replicas if they are to maximise on the sale of genuine replicas, which are not yet on the market.
Not sure if I missed it, but there has been no concrete explanation regarding the non-show of jerseys as fans have been subjected to on and off rumours which is not healthy at all.
Whatever it is that has delayed this process should be known, for now, its Chakanas and Hijackers smiling all the way because selling fake products ahead of the Chipolopolo game is now a piece of cake.