The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) is crying “mind games” after Chipolopolo this afternoon aborted its trip to Kumasi after Ghana authorities advised their chartered flight can’t land at night because of renovations to the runway. On the other hand, officials at FAZ are blaming sports minister Chishimba Kambwili and his officials for hijacking travel arrangements.
Zambian football authorities also failed to get prior clearance for refuelling in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to a statement released on the official Ghana website on August 15, Kumasi international airport had been shut during certain hours, mostly at night to necessitate renovations.
“The Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) has announced that effective August 15, 2013; the Kumasi Airport would close at 1600 hours to 0600 hours on Sundays through Thursdays and from 1800 hours to 0600 hours on Fridays and Saturdays,” the Ghana website announces.
“This is to allow for the next phase of the rehabilitation of the runway, which started at the beginning of this year and which would require full possession of the runway.
“The project, which is being implemented in phases in order to minimize inconvenience to passengers, is expected to be completed in June 2014.
“Management of the GACL said it regretted any inconvenience that the new arrangement may cause and urged the public to cooperate with the Company during the period.”
But in Lusaka, the Zambian public is being deceived into believing that the failure to travel to Kumasi was as a result of mind games employed by the Ghana Football Federation.
FAZ spokesperson Erick Mwanza has claimed the GFA was refusing to cooperate and refusing to also grant the team’s advance party permission to access the team hotel. But insiders at Football House have accused the government of hijacking the trip and making weird arrangements.