• Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Zambian FA takes groundsmen to the next level

The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) will this month hold its first ever workshop for groundsmen in the Zambian Premier League.

The three-day theoretical and practical workshop will bring together all groundsmen in the Zambian Premier League and will run from 19 September – 21 September, 2023 in Eastern province’s administrative capital Chipata.

The standard of maintenance and upkeep of pitches has been a source of concern and FAZ hopes the workshop will ensure that the groundsmen in the Zambian professional football community will be proactively engaged and empowered with the latest knowledge and techniques on pitch maintenance.

Organisers of the workshop will continue building on the foundations FIFA laid last month, when it hosted the first ever pitch management workshop for African groundsmen, in Morrocco.

The workshop the Zambian FA will host aims at training the groundsmen on how they should maintain and manage their pitches and providing the Association and the League with important information on how pitches are maintained and managed.

African Football League

The announcement in Zambia comes at a time where the international football governing body FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) have drawn the games for the first edition of a new continental competition.

The African Football League (AFL) will see eight of Africa’s most famous and successful teams taking each other on in a new competition. This includes Simba Sports Club (Tanzania) against Al Ahly FC (Egypt), Tout Puissant Mazembe (DR Congo) against Espérance Sportive de Tunis (Tunisia), Enyimba Football Club (Nigeria) against Wydad Athletic Club (Morocco) and Atlético Petróleos de Luanda (Angola) against Mamelodi Sundowns FC (South Africa). Zambian football clubs are also eyeing a slot in this competition.

“At FIFA, our job is to make football truly global, and we have always believed in the development of football in Africa, which has been underlined by our FIFA Forward programme,” Infantino said in a recorded video message. “This competition is a great and effective way to take African football to the next level, and I’m personally very happy about that.”

Infantino said the competition will boost foreign and domestic investment in African football, provide a perfect stage for the continent’s best clubs and players to compete against each other, and attract more fans both in Africa and the rest of the world. It would also set the standard for sustainable development, accessibility and inclusivity in Africa.

International support

Infantino continued: “FIFA has supported CAF and AFL by providing its extensive organisational and logistical expertise, and I am proud to say that CAF and AFL have done an excellent job so far in delivering this competition.”

“While this first edition will certainly be fantastic, I am already looking forward to the future and the possibilities of the next edition, which will be expanded to 24 teams from over 16 different countries.

“More clubs mean more stadiums, more host cities and more fans watching more exciting matches and driving the development of African football with their fantastic passion for the game. This competition is a world first, and it is a great pleasure and privilege to bring it to life together with all of you.”

“There have only been two African finalists in the history of the FIFA Club World Cup,” the FIFA President pointed out while referring to Tout Puissant Mazembe and Raja Casablanca, who finished second in 2010 and 2013 respectively. “This competition will help these teams develop the footballing and financial strength to compete with – and maybe even defeat – the best in the world.”

The opening ceremony and the first match will take place on October 20 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The semi-finals will be played between 29 October and 1 November, with the final on 5 and 11 November.

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