Keep athletes away from wrangles, NOCZ urges warring ZBF parties
National Olympic Committee of Zambia (NOCZ) President Alfred Foloko has revealed his concerns on wrangles surrounding Zambia Boxing Federation (ZBF) and has called on administrators of the sport not to extend their differences to athletes who are preparing for the Olympics.
The president who was responding to questions raised by journalists on the wrangles surrounding the ZBF leadership said he was aware of the disputes and was particularly concerned on how they would affect the boxers.
“I am alive to the wrangles that have rocked the boxing family, but as father of the Olympic movement, I would like to urge my brothers to ensure that they play politics within themselves and not extend to the team,” he said at National Heroes Stadium as he led athletes including the three Olympic boxers; Stephen Zimba, Patrick Chinyemba and Evaristo Mulenga.
He also urged the technical team not get involved in the disputes adding their focus should be on helping the boxers prepare for the games which are slated for July 23 this year.
ZBF has been embroiled in disputes in the last few months as a result of the elections of the executive which are expected to be held later this year with clubs where the athletes are coming from also involved, thereby raising concern about how this could affect their preparations.
But Mr Foloko assured the country of his administration’s support to the athletes ahead of their debut at the Olympics adding that they would be under the care of NOCZ.
“Boxers have support of NOCZ, they are our own children and we have gotten them from the federation and it won’t affect them because the Olympic family has taken over from the boxing federation,” he said.
Chinyemba, Zimba and Mulenga qualified for the Tokyo-slated games last year when they took part in qualifiers in Senegal, making boxing the second sporting discipline in the country to qualify athletes after Zambia Athletics through Sydney Siame the year before.