The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has been quietly implementing the FIFA aligned constitution for the past three years. One of the lights that the FIFA aligned constitution has birthed is the decentralization of the operations of FAZ.
Under the new FAZ constitution each of the 10 provinces will have direct representation in the national executive committee.
Already six provinces have already elected their provincial chairpersons for the 2020-2024 tenure.
The provincial chairpersons will be elected by the respective provincial congresses that will also usher in a provincial leadership comprising vice chairperson, youth, women and committee members.
All the provincial heads will be sitting on the national executive committee while the youth, women and committee members will be incorporated on national committees dealing with particular matters falling under their jurisdiction.
The provincial chairpersons already elected are David Simiwnga (Western), Crispin Kamuna (Eastern), Mweemba Mujala (Luapula), Mwansa Kapyanga (Northern), Patrick Ndhlovu (Copperbelt) and Arthur Kamulosu (North Western).
Previously football leadership was dominated by individuals from Lusaka and the Copperbelt but other regions will also have a direct voice on the national executive committee.
FAZ has additionally commenced the process of opening provincial offices that will have staff managing the affairs of the game on a day-to-day basis.
The move will make it easy for outlying areas bring to the fore various problems affecting them.
Selectors of national teams for youth and women teams will work closely with these structures to ensure that the catchment of talent is widened.
In the long run offices like the referees, technical directorate, and registrar (already represented in the provinces) and administration will be managed at the provincial level in liaison with the secretariat at Football House.
The decentralization of the game is a move that will out-last its initiators if religiously implemented.
Muchinga Province has led the way through tapping in on the collaboration with the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries that has offered to shelter the FAZ office in Chinsali.
FAZ is counting on similar collaborations with the government wings in the provinces to shelter their offices.
If FAZ keeps maintains pace of the various development aspects of the FIFA aligned constitution, it could change the face of the game forever.