KALU BAN: THE ‘TICKING TIME BOMB’ – FINALLY ERUPTS
(LIVINGSTONE) — 11 August 2018: The ghosts from the past have ‘come back to haunt’ Zambia and African football legend Kalusha Bwalya as the globe’s football governing body on Friday announced it has ostracized him from all the game’s related activities over misdemeanors from 9-years ago.
It was the case of when – the eruption of the ‘ticking time bomb’ will take place as the issue has been hovering the public domain since the The UK Sunday Times published a damming investigative piece of leaked emails between Kalusha Bwalya and disgraced erstwhile FIFA vice president and Qatar football official Mohammad Bin Hammam over cash payment.
According to the damming report Bwalya received a total sum of $80,000 between 2009 and 2011 from Bin Hammam, a quid pro quo to solicit Qatar’s vote in the race for the 2022 World Cup hosting rights.
“As per our conversation, please Mr President if you could assist me with about 50 thousand Dollars for my Football association and personal expenditures. I hope to repay you in the near future, as the burden is little bit too hard for me at this moment,” Kalusha email to Bin Hammam in 2009 as obtained from the UK’s Sunday Times.
Further, the Sunday Times indicated there was no evidence whether the loan was reimbursed, adding that a further $30,000 was wired to Kalusha’s personal account in 2011 as the former FAZ president bagged the bowls due to the federation’s financial constraints.
When quizzed by the local press in the past, Bwalya dissuaded that the payment from Hammam to him was not intended for kick-backs, instead it was a loan that was set to be reimbursed later.
“Yali ni nkongole (it was a debt) which I offered to pay…. When I said I had the money to repay they said ‘no’, and that’s where we are. Bin Hammam is a personal friend of mine, I knew him for a long time. Lulya twakwete ama (when we had) prsoblems ku (at) FAZ, he said to me that ‘if you need any help, let me know’, so he said he was going to help me. There were other discussions before what was published, so later I decided to brief him that natukwatako ama (we had) problems because yalifula (they were a lot) as we were fighting akamfulumfulu (confusion). That is why I wrote him that e-mail so that he can help us with that amount. He, however, did not send us that amount, he sent less. Yali ni nkongole (it was a debt) which I offered to pay back, you understand, it’s not that amount indicated,” Bwalya said.
“The money was put to good use because that’s the time twalepishanya nabena Lupiya (when we were pursuing each other with Lupiya). I offered to pay them as indicated but they said ‘no, just wait, we will tell you’. In principle, we should have paid it back because yali ni nkongole.”
The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) had found no case against King Kalu because legally he committed no offence, but however he breached FIFA’s code of ethics – of which the conducts of football officials are confined.
“The adjudicatory chamber found Mr Bwalya guilty of having violated art. 16 (Confidentiality) and art. 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits) of the FIFA Code of Ethics. A fine in the amount of CHF 100,000 was also imposed on Mr Bwalya,” reads the statement by FIFA.
King KALU’s embargo shall open a cane of worms as a number of African football officials were implicated in the Sunday Times’ damning investigative report – including Liberian President and football legend George Weah. Already, disgruntled Bwalya’s sympathizers have casted aspersion as to why only him has been outlawed.
On the other hand, Kalu’s ban serves as a lesson to the power-that-be at Football house – and anyone else malevolent in causing their federation’s coffers to bleed. Today’s sins will come back to haunt you in future.
COLUMN: Well done Zesco, Nkana
Sibeleki on Monday Zambia’s envoys in the 2018-19 CAF Confederation Cup Zesco UnitedRead More
CAF CC: Zesco United reign over Kaizer Chiefs to storm group stage
Kaizer Chiefs 1 – 2 Zesco United [Agg: 5-2] (Akumu Anthony, Jesse Were | KhamaRead More