?> KALU SHOULD HAVE DEALT WITH FIFA ETHICS COMMITTEE INSTEAD OF LETTING CAS DECIDE HIS FATE | ZamFoot

KALU SHOULD HAVE DEALT WITH FIFA ETHICS COMMITTEE INSTEAD OF LETTING CAS DECIDE HIS FATE

KALU SHOULD HAVE DEALT WITH FIFA ETHICS COMMITTEE INSTEAD OF LETTING CAS DECIDE HIS FATE

By Shalala Oliver Sepiso

A SURPRISE CANDIDATURE
Prior to the elections, only his close friends and confidants would have known that Kalusha Bwalya was eyeing the FAZ presidency. For the rest of us mortals with no connections to these big men, we just had that lingering doubt on Kalu’s suitability to stand following a previous FIFA ban that undermined his candidacy. Since Kalusha was banned by FIFA, following proof that he had solicited for cash or favours from disgraced Qatari football official Mohammed Bin Hamam – who himself was banned for life by FIFA – it is my belief that FIFA should be the point to start from in the road to redemption. Instead, our greatest living football legend and former FAZ President filed a formal appeal against FAZ at the Court of Arbitration following the decision of the FAZ Ethics Committee to disqualify him from standing in the forthcoming elections, on ethical grounds.

ONLY FIFA CAN SORT IT OUT
Ironically, after the CAS decision of yesterday, only FIFA can change
opinions right now. This is the very FIFA Kalusha neglected to enjoin to his case at CAS and didn’t want to write to over getting clearance to stand as pertaining to the Integrity Test. Doing so would have been administratively easier to change his FAZ elections fortunes instead of the long winded judicial processes. I doubt that this action can now change eventual fates for this year’s elections now but it may change the fate of the 2024 elections if Kalu will still want to try one last hurray.

In the very first article I wrote, I insisted that Kalusha should have gone through FIFA. I still believe so now. CAS hasn’t helped and won’t help much, judging by yesterdays judgement by the sole CAS arbitrator André Brantjes from the Netherlands. Just because FIFA banned Kalu doesn’t mean they would not have helped his case.

But remember that FIFA once changed its mind on Kalusha Bwalya before. The Adjudicatoty Chamber of the independent FIFA Ethics Committee found Kalusha guilty of 3 counts of breach of the FIFA Code of Ethics by violating Article 20 (offering & accepting gifts and other benefits) and Article 16 (confidentiality). And for his injudiciousness of “taking bribes for votes” from the now-expelled Qatari football aficionado, Mohammed Bin Hamman, Kalu was fined CHF 100,000 and banned 2 years. But later, bizarrely or otherwise, the FIFA Appeals Committee on 18th August 2018, came back with a ruling basically saying the Zambian icon committed no wrongdoing by taking “bribes” or nkongole from Bin Hamman (himself banned for life) and thus quashed CHF 90,000 from the total fine while commuting his suspension to time served. However, the appeals committee did not quash his entire conviction.

So there was hope at FIFA in my view.

If he had written to them and they gave him an opinion that his ban is not grounds to stop him under the Integrity Test, FAZ would have been forced to allow him to stand. I don’t think they would have deemed him ineligible for life. Maybe they would have said he can contest in 2024 even. Either way, the FAZ Ethics Committee will always stand down to any decision by the FIFA Ethics Committee. It may be too late now for Kalusha because of the CAS judgement. Last week, I advised on Kalu writing to the FIFA Ethics Committee and had he done that and the response been positive, he would have withdrawn the CAS case to avoid a negative judgement because CAS decisions override those of FIFA Ethics Committee. Unfortunately we now have a decision that seems to curtail Kalu’s ambitions and the FIFA decision right now cant help. We can only wait for the CAS final decision in May.

In fact, it is now FAZ who can take advantage and write to the FIFA Ethics Committee for an opinion to completely kill Kalusha’s case. FAZ too could have easily used the FIFA route to close the Kalu case way back because the debate would have died in the water and we would have been saved much drama and time.

Anyway, when I advised on this issue way back, many supporters of Kalu rubbished me saying “You are not a lawyer. Kalusha hired very competent lawyers and they know what they are doing”.

Now listen guys, when I advise, I do so from knowledge and experience. What many of you don’t know is I am a FIFA-trained coach and a FIFA-trained administrator. Secondly I qualify to be FAZ president. I have managed clubs since 2005. I was in the FAZ Futsal Executive two years under FAZ in Kalusha’s time. I also once sponsored a Futsal team and was it’s President under FAZ from 2005 to 2012. I was in the Development Committee of the National Sports Council of Zambia from 2007 to 2014. I am now managing a premier league team since 2017. So I easily meet the 3-5 years experience needed to be FAZ president.

And I can advise Kalusha and Kamanga because I understand the FAZ presidency. By the way I am the one who wrote the story in The Post which produced the famous “yali ninkongole” quote after I spoke to Kalusha in an interview.

END OF COW-HORN FORMATION
I have always said Kalusha and his camp did what can only be termed a cow-horn formation. They wanted to be covered on all fronts. So losing this preliminary round at CAS means they cannot use CAS to stop FAZ elections to go ahead without Kalusha. So for that, they will now depend on Damiano’s case which has a stay on the elections. Once that stay is vacated, elections will go on without Kalusha.

Of course someone will say Damiano is not Kalu even if the two are very close. Legally the two differ but realistically we know the two are one and the same. Its like trying to say the arguments of Kamanga and those of FAZ are different. The two are different entities but basically the same.

Why is it that when people close to Kalusha like Damiano sue in Court, you some people say it’s not because of Kalu but when the people close to Kalu are sued (or cited for disciplinary transgressions) the same people want to say it is because of Kalu? Hmmm….

Good evening.

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FILE PHOTO: Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) Secretary General Matthieu Reeb speaks to journalists in Lausanne, Switzerland, July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy Picture Supplied by Action Images/File Photo

 

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