NETBALL Association of Zambia (NAZ) has announced a change to the initial two-day Independence tournament so as to uphold the Day of National Prayers and Fasting scheduled for Sunday.
NAZ president Gertrude Mukumi said the association could not completely cancel the event because of the travelling cost for those coming from outside Chipata in Eastern Province.
“We initially planned that the tournament was going to be a two-day event but because of the national prayers on Sunday, it will just be on Saturday. The national prayers declared by President Edgar Lungu are important hence we do not want to deny any player the opportunity to join other Zambians in prayer, fasting and reconciliation on Sunday. 48 teams have confirmed participation and we will have fourty eight playing venues to ensure that the champions are declared on that particular day,” Mukumi said.
She said five Malawian clubs are scheduled to take part in the tournament which had upped the level of the tournament.
She said the national team technical bench will use the tournament to identify talent as they focus on assembling a national team.
“We want to assemble a formidable team that will compete at the 2019 World Cup. Some of the players that competed at the recent Sydney World Cup may not be available in the next four years due to age and other factors,” she said.
Meanwhile, FAZ has also cancelled all league games billed for this Sunday for October 28 to join the rest of the country in National Prayers.
FAZ president Kalusha Bwalya said the football fraternity puts God first and therefore it would be unreasonable to deny anyone the oppotunity to take part in the prayers.
“The President is also patron of the FAZ and we are happy with the call to hold national day of prayers. This is a welcome initiative that Zambians must heed. Those that have attended our national training sessions and indeed our pre-match meetings, gatherings of the FAZ council and other FAZ programmes will testify that such events open and close with supplications to our God the Almighty creator,”
“Everything we do and the lives we have, we owe to God our creator. This day of prayer and fasting called by His Excellency the President is very important for us as a football family, as Zambians and we will join His Excellency the President and the rest of the country in prayer and fasting. It’s a time for all of us to rededicate ourselves to God, to re-energize our relationship with Him and beseech Him to take the lead in our lives, our game and our country,” he said.