Following events of Saturday where the Zambia national team was booted out from the race to Russia by Nigeria after losing 1-0 some soccer fans have been imploring the Football Association of Zambia to file a complaint with FIFA.
The basis of the cry has been a wrongfully disallowed goal by Botswana referee Joshua Bondo who controversially ruled offside an Augustine Mulenga goal.
FAZ has categorically said that it will not appeal the decision as they firmly believed that the referee’s decision is final. The association has also went ahead and said that they could only have appealed if there was evidence that the decision by Bondo may have been influenced by external factors. They have cited the case of the South Africa versus Senegal where the decision to order a replay was ordered on the basis of the referee having connived with betting companies to influence the outcome of the match.
However what we find baffling in all this explanation is why FAZ has so spiritedly put up a strong defence against appeal? We are also left wondering as to why FAZ has plainly stated that apart from themselves believing that it was a legitimate goal everyone they asked including referee assessors told them it was a clear goal. We think was not for FAZ to consider the outcome of their case predetermined. Why not leave it to FIFA to decide? Unless there is something else that FAZ is not telling us. After all do not the gods of football repeatedly preach fair play?
What was so hard about filing an appeal and if it falls through everyone moves on with their lives? After all it would not be the first time we would have been let down by FIFA. Does FAZ not feel the resentment that this stubbornness to refuse to appeal is fuelling among the fans? After all that Botswana referee was sent away from the Cosafa Castle Cup for having disastrously officiated the Zimbabwe versus Madagascar goal.
We are mindful that the complaint should have been filed within 48 hours of the match being played but the deafening silence from FAZ until the 48 hour window had lapsed is hugely suspicious.