Zambia FA president and football promoter – Andrew Kamanga, known for his love of the game, has spilled out some lovely goals to serve the Confederation of African Football (CAF), if he can get the other FIFA council seat on Friday, March 10, in Morocco.
The latter was re-elected FAZ president late last month, and he’s gunning for a FIFA council seat to completely revolutionize the game with his ideas considered “stuff of fairy tales” for those in connection with the beautiful game.
Kamanga was our guest and took out time to answer our questions. Here they are!
Q: With Africa struggling in terms of football development especially at the grassroot level, and clubs finding it difficult to keep afloat, coupled with many other problems football is facing on the continent, what shall you propose to the African football family as an amelioration or solution to all the aforementioned issues if you get the FIFA council seat
We need to invest more on grassroot football to get a return in the near future and I think it is pretty much what FIFA is doing, in the sense that FIFA is giving all the countries through the FIFA forward program at least a million dollars every year and 2 million dollars for the four year circle, bringing the total to about 6 million in four years which is given to all 211 FIFA members. Now with our Confederation, CAF, we are just scratching on the surface. CAF is not doing as much as FIFA is! My expectation with the new CAF leadership is for them to match or better – what FIFA is giving, or integrate the FIFA forward program into the CAF program.
Q What are some of the domains you think needs an amelioration in African football governance
It has to do with range. For a very long time, we’ve considered governance the “catchword,” and there’s always a sense of entitlement that whenever money is brought to football, it shouldn’t be accounted for. I believe the integrity test has done some good. It (integrity test), would go a long way to ensure football will start attracting leaders who will ordinarily not be involved in football.
The football executive committees are supposed to have an oversight. The implication is resting with the Secretariat so there has to be that distinction between the role of the Exco and the role of the secretariat because even in my Federation am not an executive president. The day to day running of the FAZ is sitting with the Secretary General.
Q:Did you give an official support to the to be CAF president?, And does it have an influence on the FIFA council seat elections?.
Three weeks ago we had a COSAFA meeting and arsing from that meeting, was a resolution that COSAFA should back president Motsepe in his bid.
However, with Motsepe winning the CAF presidency, he becomes automatically a FIFA council member. The six other candidates have to fight now for a single seat.
Q: there that feeling of; other regions should have a FIFA council seat, since Motsepe (CAF president) has automatically gotten one and hails from COSAFA?
We will have some engagements so we try to see the best way out of this situation. If you see where we are coming from as COSAFA, it means we’ve secured a seat already. The expectations from CECAFA and the Western side is obviously clear that COSAFA will be demanding too much to ask for a second seat.
We will however, put the cards on the table and see what we can do. But when you see where I am coming from; financial Independence, an improved governance framework; purely because I am already serving at the FIFA auditor compliance committee, and I am responsible for managing the FIFA forward funds. CAF now needs to domesticate the FIFA forward program if we are going to add to the development of football in Africa.
Q:What about other candidates and their manifesto. Have you heard any?
I can only speak for myself in terms of what I see as my personal contribution. If the 5 others can agree on how we think we can represent ourselves, it will be glorious. It shouldn’t matter whether one is coming again from COSAFA or from other regions. It should be a negotiated and compromised position. All the other candidates are qualified and are entitled. It is their right to stand and aspire for a seat in the FIFA council. But ultimately we need to send a representative who has got clarity in terms of succinct ideas.
There are 6 candidates for just one spot. What are your chances?
The chances would always be dependent on wider membership. Remember that all the 53 members will have to decide. I’ve been talking to almost all of them. It’s now a question of those who believe that my ideas are the best, then they’d have every reason to entrust me with their votes. I cannot however tell I am going to carry the day. These are elections, everything is possible. Having said that, I’ve reached out to all the 53 members.
It would be a tough competition, but football should be able to win.
It is not just about the ideas, but Kamanga has brilliant end product and implementation; testament to this, is, the metamorphose of Zambian football in the last four years; from youth set-up’s to senior categories.
Interview conducted by Africa Sports Management
- Giovanni Wanneh