Posted On Saturday, 13th April 2013
Zambian football was thrown into fresh turmoil after FIFA slapped a US$400,000 fine on the federation for unfairly dismissing Italian coach Dario Bonetti.
The world governing body hit the broke federation with the hefty fine for cruelly dismissing Bonetti just two days after he helped the country qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.
Bonetti was brutally sacked by the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) just two days after guiding them to the tournament which they won under Frenchman Herve Renard.
The Italian, who felt he was harshly treated by the Zambians, went to FIFA to seek justice over his dismissal as his contract was still running.
He demanded a compensation package of US$1,600,000 but the world governing body said Zambia must pay the coach US$400,000.
The complaint of unfair dismissal was upheld by FIFA but the fine has come at a time that FAZ is completely broke as the Chipolopolo are also struggling with poor form.
Zambia failed to make any impact at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and were held to a 1-1 draw by minnows Lesotho in their World Cup qualifier last month.
FAZ’s coffers are empty and will be relying on the sports ministry to pay the fine as minister Chishimba Kambwili is promising to help.
“We would like to bail the association out if the time to pay the former coach Bonetti comes,” Chishimba Kambwili said.
“We know it seemed cruel at the time he was fired but the team went on to win the Afcon 2012 after he left. So we are ready to help Faz in paying off the coach.”
But FIFA sources say Bonetti is assured of getting his money whatever the case.
In an event FAZ fails to pay Bonetti, FIFA will suspend the annual grant of US $500, 000 for Zambia it gives to all its members.