I am here to organise football, not meetings – Infantino

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FIFA President Gianni Infantino has emphasised his focus on football over administrative disputes during his visit to Zambia, despite recent controversies within the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ).

FAZ recently faced internal conflicts that led to legal challenges and the suspension of the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

The government, through the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Arts, intervened to facilitate peaceful talks outside the courts, resulting in a mutually beneficial resolution.

Upon his arrival at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport last evening, Infantino was asked about his stance on the ongoing issues within FAZ.

He responded:”There are always issues in football and in countries around the world, and if nobody cared about football, there would be fewer legal challenges or cases. If there are such situations happening, then it tells you that people are interested in making sure that things are done in the right way. At the end of the day, me as FIFA president, I am here to organise football, not to organise meetings. We do need to have meetings, but our main focus should be on the game.”

Infantino praised FAZ President Andrew Kamanga and his team for their hard work in advancing Zambian football, describing their efforts as a “success.”

“Congratulations for the fantastic work you are doing with your team. Success does not come as a miracle or some sort of coincidence but because of hard work—that is what you do and that is what you are bound to do,” he said.

The FIFA president also expressed excitement about the development of women’s football in Zambia, highlighting the achievements of players like Rachael Kundananji and Barbra Banda, who are part of the most expensive women’s football club transfers in the world.

Infantino stressed the importance of investment in women’s football and football in general to achieve more historic records.

FAZ President Kamanga welcomed Infantino and his entourage, including FIFA General Secretary Mattias Grafstrom, expressing gratitude for the visit.

Infantino is expected to conduct a series of meetings and tours before departing the country this evening.

By Elesani Phiri

Kalemba, June 13, 2024

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