FAZ on rehabilitation and upgrade of Kaole Stadium in Luapula.
The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) and ministry of sports have officially flagged off the rehabilitation and upgrade of Kaole Stadium in Luapula.
Kaole becomes the second FIFA funded stadium to be launched by the Minister of Sport, Youth and Arts Elvis Nkandu and FAZ vice president Justin Mumba.
On Thursday, FAZ and the ministry of sports launched the rehabilitation and upgrade of Solwezi’s Independence Stadium in North Western Province.
The project has also received the endorsement of Chief Chimese of the Ushi people of Luapula province in whose chiefdom the stadium is located.
Speaking during the handover, Nkandu urged the community to have a sense of ownership of the stadium once it is completed to avoid vandalism.
Nkandu said the infrastructure may not last long if the community did not protect it.
The minister said that results for the national team would be given a boost by improved infrastructure.
“As much as we want better results for our national team, better results will remain a pipe dream if we do not invest in infrastructure,” he said.
Nkandu also gave a catalogue of the fine talents to have emerged out of Luapula Province that made it befitting for the region to have modern infrastructure.
“Luapula Province holds a special place in the country’s history having produced some of the finest footballers. One does not need to look far to names such as Kalusha Bwalya, Charles Musonda, Efford Chabala, Isaac Chansa, Emmanuel Mbola, Bestone Chambeshi, Dennis Lota, Ashos Melu and Clatous, Evans Katebe, Philemon Mulala, Ackim Musemga, Samuel Chomba and John Kalusa among others,” he said.
And FAZ president Andrew Kamanga said the project would be delivered on time.
Speaking through his vice president Justin Mumba, the FAZ boss said the FIFA stadia rehabilitation project would be executed over a period of six months.
FIFA has provided USD300, 000 for each of the four stadia earmarked for upgrade.
Kamanga said the delay in commencing the projects was as a result of the stringent conditions that FIFA attached to their support.
Meanwhile Chief Chimese expressed delight at the identification of his chiefdom as a beneficiary of the FIFA project.
The traditional leader said that he was always discouraged from watching football from Kaole Stadium as it was in a dilapidated state.
He also appealed to the ministry of sports to put additional infrastructure for other sports disciplines.
Meanwhile the provincial minister Derrick Chilundika urged the contactor to incorporate locals in the project instead of exporting labour.
And Consultant Mathias Phiri summed up the scope of work as targeting the playing surface, terraces, change rooms, perimeter fence and ablution blocks.
FAZ has secured funding from FIFA to rehabilitate and upgrade four stadia namely Independence (North Western), Kaole (Luapula), Kasama (Northern) and David Kaunda (Eastern).
Additionally, Maramba Stadium will be rehabilitated but works cannot commence until matters revolving around the previous contractor are resolved with government.
FAZ is also targeting putting up stadia in all the 10 provinces as part of stimulating the development of game.