By Punch Chama
I was in town today and overheard an argument between a number of guys at a Bus stop wih some of them asking why Zambia rarely plays in Lusaka these days.
One of the guys who looked like a bus driver ( with his blue shirt) was telling his freinds that Lusaka does not deserve any national team matches because majority of Lusaka fans are not really into local football and thats why FAZ bringing a game to Lusaka is a risk especially if the team may not be doing well unlike the Copperbelt were fans watch whether the national team is in good or bad form.
I have to agree with the mans sentiments.
His main points were valid and seriously FAZ should think hard about playing matches in lusaka.
Heroes Stadium may not be ready for full international matches but for Lusaka to host matches attitudes of Lusaka fans generally need to change.
Anywhere in the world where the National Team Plays its the Stronghold of Local football.
Wembley Stadium is based in London and three of Englands biggest teams Arsenal, Chelsea and Totenham Hotspurs are based there.
Paris hosts Frances most supported club Paris Saint Gamaine and thats where the national team plays.
If people remember the last few qualifiers before Independence stadium was closed some of the matches were not packed. Compare to Nchanga Stadium or Konkola Stadium which was ever packed.
Every national team needs to play somewherre where there is a VIBE and Ive been to many national team matches in lusaka and you just dont get the same vibe as in copperbelt matches.
this is not to say that love for Zambian football is not growing in Lusaka.
Ba Lusaka need to improve overall in attitudes towards zambian football. there are negative people in all corners of zambia but the negative vibe in lusaka regarding the Zambia national team can even make the team fail to perform.
Ba lusaka also need to get to know more about the ZSL and other league. if I was to say that one out of 10 football fans in Lusaka know nothing about the ZSL i wouldnt be too far from the truth.
its only on the Copperbelt where fans can start shouting “BILLLLLYYYY” which can motivate a player.
Ive sat with so many fans in lusaka and most knowladge is only based on the 2012 AFCON squad. How do you expect to cheer on players when you are not knowladgable about them?
With that said there has been massive improvement in followership of the Zambian game in Lusaka over the past two years but more Lusaka people need to appreciate like how it was in the 1990s when Independence Stadium was a fortress.
As at NOW Zambia National team should play only on the CB because they have REAL Passion and sing 90 minutes when Zambia is playing.
NOTE: Im Lusaka born and bred