By Mercy Chewe
The Zambia Football Fans Association (ZAFFA) has urged the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) to punish clubs and fans over violent incidents being witnessed during league matches.
ZAFFA General Secretary Chawezi Katwizi said his association was saddened by increasing violent conduct among soccer fans.
There were pockets of violence during last Saturday’s match between Red Arrows and Nkana at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka.
Furthermore, referees were harassed during the Zanaco versus Green Buffaloes match which ended in a 1-1 draw at Sunset Stadium in Lusaka.
Chawezi said alcohol abuse during matches, inadequate security and failure by fans to accept defeat was causing hooliganism among fans.
He said football is unifying factor sport that must not be associated with violence.
“You know football is a unifying factor, football brings different backgrounds, be it race, colour or political affiliation. So football should be enjoyed. Fans should know that there are three results in football. A win, a loss and a draw so every result that comes fans should understand. You can’t win all the games all the time. Each game comes with it’s own result so just accept the result and move on to the next game,” Katwizi said.
“Going forward we urged fans to reduce on alcohol consumption during games, you know I have observed that during games a lot of people especially those who do hooliganism most of them are intoxicated,” he said.
Katwizi added:” We also urge clubs to improve on security starting with perimeter fences and man power.Let the clubs ensure that they beef up security. FAZ should ensure that the ban on the sale of alcohol in bottles at the stadium during matches is enforced.”
“FAZ should also be quick in making decisions or act on hooliganism. We have all these cases of hooliganism that have happened but FAZ has not done anything, they have not acted on any case up to now. Let FAZ stamp their authority and give stiff punishment to offenders so that it acts as a warning to those who want to do hooliganism in future,” he said.