…to conceal evidence from ACC probing the Nike deal
SOME Football Association of Zambia officials involved in the Nike replica jerseys scam have removed the Chipolopolo sports merchandise reproduced in China from the shelves of Zambian sports outlets to conceal evidence from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) which is investigating the matter, it was learnt yesterday.
An inside source at Football House revealed that a named official has removed the replicas from the shops for fear that the ACC would pounce on them.
The source further revealed that the official has been trying hard to meet Sports minister Vincent Mwale over the matter, but the minister has clearly stated that he did not want to involve himself in the FAZ corrupt allegations.
“The FAZ official involved in the Nike scandal deal managed to remove the Chinese made replicas from the shelves. He is scared that once some current and former FAZ officials are questioned by ACC, they may reveal where the jerseys are sold,” the source said.
“Another official involved in the same corrupt scandal has been frequenting the Ministry of Sports with the hope of meeting the minister but he has not succeeded,” the source said.
Last week, Mwale said he will not comment on the investigations but wait until the relevant authorities conclude their probe.
“I am not in a position to comment over the revelations or alleged practises in FAZ. The relevant authorities will do the investigations and not the ministry,” he said.
It was disclosed last month that FAZ had lost the lucrative Nike sponsorship deal because some officials were reproducing Nike replicas in China as Chipolopolo official kit which they sold privately and pocketed the proceeds for personal gain.
“We lost the Nike deal because of allowing one individual to reproduce the kit from China and the sales proceeds were being shared among named individuals. As a result, we (Zambia national soccer team) have no kit supplier.
‘‘Nike was the best deal. We were the only African team dressed by Nike and to lose it because of corruption is painful. Let’s wake up gentlemen and call a spade a spade, not a big spoon,” a FAZ official said at the time.