LUSAKA — The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) is in a quandary over the venue for next week’s international friendly match against Zimbabwe after the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium management team demanded more than K200 million for use of the venue.
Sources, said FAZ was looking at other options like playing the match at either Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe under floodlights or an afternoon match at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka, instead of paying the K200 million being asked for.
But FAZ spokesperson Erick Mwanza, without divulging details, said at a media briefing at Football House in Lusaka on Wednesday: “Levy Mwanawasa Stadium is the venue for now for the match that is scheduled to start at 18:00 hours.”
Mwanza said FAZ was looking at how much would be raised from ticket sales since gate charges had been reduced with those wanting to watch from the VIP stand to pay K100 000 while those in the upper deck would part with K10 000 and K20 000 for the lower deck.
“It is really a giveaway to put the gate charges at that amount and one has to look at the economic value of paying the amount which is being asked for to enable us to host Zimbabwe at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium. It does not make sense if the costs outstrip the income.
“Mind you, as FAZ, we have been paying for use of these stadia, but for now the stadium remains the same,” he said.
“This (friendly) is not an A international match and when a match is not an A international, it means the commercial value or viability of that game is much lower. It is reduced,” Mwanza said.
“If by any means we look at the cost of hire for the stadium — that it will not make economic sense for us — then we shift the venue.”
“I’m reluctant to comment on the figures right now because they are still at an administrative level,” Mwanza said.
Meanwhile, the home-based Zambia team called up for the friendly, goes into camp in Ndola on August 5.
The match will be Zambia’s second official match at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium after hosting Ghana on June 9 in a 2014 World Cup qualifier — if it goes ahead.
The Warriors 24-man squad will report for a day’s camp on Monday before travelling the following day.