Football followers took to social media to express disapproval of the surprise inclusion of Lusaka Dynamos ahead of Green Eagles.
But FAZ has set the record straight highlighting the criterion used for selection of participants.
FAZ CLEARS BARCLAYS CONTROVERSY…LUSAKA DYNAMOS MAINTAINS SPOT
The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has cleared the air on the six qualified Super Division teams for the 2018 Barclays Cup competition that pits Lusaka Dynamos ahead of Green Eagles.
Addressing a media briefing at Football House today, FAZ League Manager Katongo Kabungo said he was surprised that people had risen up in arms claiming that Green Eagles were the rightful Barclays Cup representatives ahead of Lusaka Dynamos.
Kabungo said the format focused on the teams having played 19 games across the board not in chronological order.
He said the 19 fixtures were not in the strict order of the schedule as even matches from the second round could be included where the opportunity presented itself.
“Ideally we should pick the first 19 games played, sometimes you may have a game from the second half played in the first half. Let me give you the example of the game involving Forest Rangers and Nkana, we had to bring forward that game, we call it a swap. So it does not necessarily follow that you have to play Week one up to 19 sequentially,” he said.
“Sometimes it is not possible because if you postpone games in June to the second half, at the time this club is able to play in the second half, they just follow the normal calendar so that the backlog which I am carrying from first half may have to find space in the second half for those games to be played. I think that is what creates confusion for most people.”
He said that the contentious sixth spot was rightfully occupied by Lusaka Dynamos after they played their 19 matches.
Lusaka Dynamos’ fixtures played were at 16 matches when all the clubs had played 19 matches.
The three matches that added up to Lusaka Dynamos making it 19 matches were for Week 20, 21 and 22 at which they amassed 33 points.
Kabungo added: “All we do in the league is, at the point each team had played 19 games which is the half way mark, regardless whether the games were from the first half or the second half but the point is they have played half of 38 then we cut off and send the names to competitions.”
And FAZ General Secretary Adrian Kashala said it was unfortunate that some people opted to scandalise the association on the matter instead of seeking clarity first.
“The misconception is that people think that Barclays Cup participants will be chosen on account of clubs having played from Week 1 to Week 19. We need to draw a line here, it is not going by weeks, it is going by the games that have been played,” Kashala said.
“People are calling for Green Eagles to be part of the Barclays Cup competition but I am wondering why they are not talking about Kabwe Warriors. Even if we were to remove Lusaka Dynamos, Green Eagles would not play the Barclays Cup. They would still remain seventh on the log as at 19 games played.”
He added: “The criteria here is we had to wait for Lusaka Dynamos to play their 19th game and when they played their 19th game, Lusaka Dynamos were standing at 33 points while Green Eagles were at 30 points and Kabwe Warriors at 32 points.”
The qualified teams for the 2018 Barclays Cup are Zesco United, Green Buffaloes, Zanaco, Power Dynamos, Nkana, Lusaka Dynamos, Real Nakonde, Mufulira Wanderers, Manchester United Zambia Academy and Young Green Buffaloes.