Zambian women national team head coach defended against allegations of inappropriate conduct

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FOOTBALL Zambian women national team head coach defended against allegations of inappropriate conduct

Festus Chuma 12:15 - 05.08.2023

Zambian FA general secretary, Reuben Kamanga dismisses claims as FIFA investigates incident at Women's World Cup.

Zambian women national team head coach, Bruce Mwape, finds himself at the centre of controversy after British publication by "The Guardian" alleged that FIFA is investigating claims of misconduct against him.

The article, dated August 3, 2023, headlined "FIFA investigating claims Zambia coach rubbed player’s chest at World Cup," has raised eyebrows and concerns within the footballing community. 

However, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has stepped forward to clear the air and defend their coach against the serious allegations.

In the said publication, it was reported that Mwape had been accused of rubbing his hands over the chest of one of the players during a training session, just two days before Zambia's momentous victory over Costa Rica in their final group match at the Women's World Cup. 

The victory marked a historic milestone for Zambia, as they secured their first-ever triumph at a World Cup.

FAZ General Secretary, Reuben Kamanga, responded swiftly to the claims, stating that the association had not received any official complaint from players or officials regarding the alleged incident.

He expressed surprise at the news and emphasised that FAZ takes allegations of this nature very seriously, but without any official complaint, the matter remains unsubstantiated.

Kamanga sought to provide additional evidence to support their defence, mentioning that all training sessions for the Copper Queens were recorded by the FAZ media team. 

Despite the serious nature of the allegations, there was no footage that corroborated the reported incident. 

Furthermore, a FIFA film crew, which was attached to the Zambian team throughout the World Cup, was present at all training sessions, further reducing the likelihood of such misconduct going unnoticed.

"We maintain the highest standards of integrity and transparency within our organisation," Kamanga asserted. "We demand unwavering ethical conduct from our players and officials both on and off the field. Rest assured, we will not hesitate to take disciplinary measures and address any misconduct, but only upon receiving an official complaint or tangible evidence of an alleged incident."

It is worth noting  that this is not the first time Mwape has faced accusations. Sexual abuse allegations against him surfaced on social media the previous year.