The revised document shows marked improvement to the one that was tabled at the Emergency Council Meeting last February.
Contentious issues such as the express recognition of gay rights, the dissolution of lower league teams and national representation of the executive committee have all been adequately taken care of virtually putting to rest the many arguments that arose in the process.
Article 3 which tackles discrimination in sport had in the earlier draft constitution expressly displayed support for homosexuality stating “…no one will be discriminated on account of sexual orientation…”
Sexual orientation is defined as a person’s identity in so far as their attraction for gender is concerned. It’s basically the subtle reference for homosexuality which is a criminal offence in Zambia.
That clause raised a firestorm in Zambian football circles and drew the attention of ordinary members of the public prompting Mofya Chisala, a Lusaka-based football administrator, to raise an objection at the ECM.
Chisala proposed that the clause be modified.
And in the revised draft constitution, Article 3 titled Neutrality and Non Discrimination has been modified to conform to Zambian values and laws.
In 3.1, it reads “FAZ is neutral in matters of politics and religion.”
In 3.2, the revised draft constitution states,
“Discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, wealth, birth or any other status or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”
Another contentious article which had set to dissolve lower league teams is now provided for in Article 21. The first draft had effectively striped Division 2 and 3s their voting rights rendering them amateur sides without giving clarity on the status of affiliation to provincial leagues.
The revised draft has, however, provided for the recognition of lower league teams. Article 21.1 states, “The Council is composed of 130 delegates and 90 votes…”
Subsequent parts of Article 21 distribute the voting allocation to all members of FAZ members with division 2 and 3 teams now represented by respective regions and are allocated 40 out of the total 90 votes available in the new Electoral College.
As well as Super Divisions teams, Division One teams will have 20 votes while the remaining 10 will be shared among the women’s league, referees, coaches, higher education, schools, futsal and beach soccer and the association representing players.
Election of the president will now be determined through a 50 plus one system with an option of second round where more than two candidates aspire for office and none meets the threshold.
Article 32 has increased the number of elected executive committee members to 13 from the current 9. Only three positions – president, vice-president & female member – will be contested at national level with the other 10 decided at regional level giving the FAZ ExCO a national character as each province will elect one official to sit on the board.
For the first time, the FAZ executive will be represented by individuals outside the line of rail. History shows that majority of ExCo members have been drawn from Lusaka and Copperbelt when the country has 10 provinces.
All aspiring committee members will need a minimum of five years as FAZ members at club level to qualify for election. FAZ has since increased the number of judicial bodies to four and are distributed as Disciplinary, Ethics, Arbitration and Appeals Committee.
The FAZ Council will meet in Lusaka on Saturday to adopt the new constitution failure to which Zambia risks a ban from international football.