The few surviving members of the 1974 Africa cup of nations finals between Zambia and the then Zaire now DRC, held in Egypt on 14th March,1974, have joined the recently formed Footballers and Allied Workers Union(FAWUZ).
The members of the squad and other soccer legends who have joined the union, have been led bythe Captain Dickson Makwaza(73) are:Peter Mhango (69 ), Fred Mwila (69 ), Edward Musonda ( 69), Simon “ Stoney” Chibwe ( 66), Richard Stephenson (65 ), Simon “ Kaodi” Kaushi (66),Abraham Nkole (65),Patrick Nkole(73) and AckimMusenge(66).
The 1974 AFCON finals squad memberswas made up of the following: Coach Ante Buselic (late), Assistant Coach George Sikazwe, Dickson Makwaza as Captain, Emmanuel Mwape(late), AckimMusenge, Edwin Mbaso(late), Dick Chama(late), Boniface Simutowe(late), Joseph Mapulanga, Brighton Sinyangwe(late), Jani Simulambo, Simon Kaushi, Richard Stephenson, Edward Musonda, ObbyKapita(late), Moses Simwala(late), Bernard Chanda (late), Godfrey “Ucar” Chitalu (late.)
The Zambia soccer legends regret that their experience and counsel has not been utilized over the years and have been thrown to the dustbin of history. They feel the soccer union was long overdue and they were overjoyed that finally, an organisation whose sole mandate is to look after the interests of the players has been established. The legends are of the view that as long as Zambia and Africa neglect and ignore the counsel of those who preceded them, we will not make much progress as the young generation would have not learnt from their experience thereby end up making avoidable mistakes.
The football legends are appealing to ardent soccer fans of yester years of then called “KK 11” like former President Rupiah Banda and the current President Edgar Lungu to find a way of providing material and financial support to them through their representative, FAWUZ which has recognized their plight.
The Zambia Footballers and allied Workers Union (FAWUZ) is determined to work with its strategic partners, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) and football clubs to ensure that footballers are well taken care of. The Union wants to ensure that Zambian footballers are motivated and disciplined in order to perform on the field and thereby improve football standards and bring back past glory and sponsors to the game. The union wants to stem the obsession by fans with foreign soccer leagues and start filling up the stadiums.
The recognition of the soccer legends of the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s through the provision of honorary membership to them, is a start on the journey to recognize the importance of football players, past and present. The Union hopes for support from the fans, government and sponsors in this noble cause.
LINOS. K. CHALWE