By MICHAEL MIYOBA
THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) says it does not owe the national team coach Aljosa Asanovic US$40, 000 as alleged by the Croatian who has threatened to quit and sue if he is not paid his money.
Zambia plays Mali on September 23 and 26 in international friendly matches being used as part of preparations for the Ivory Coast 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and Asanovic is nowhere near the team.
The Chipolopolo gaffer is said to be in Croatia where he has engaged lawyers to help him claim the unpaid salaries from FAZ.
FAZ president Andrew Kamanga told the BBC that Asanovic is claiming $40, 000 (K634, 780.41) in unpaid allowances and was ready to leave if FAZ can give him $25, 000.
“We had a meeting (online) with him (Asanovic) on Monday. From the blue, he claimed that we owe him $40, 000 but is prepared to leave if we pay him $25, 000. We owe him nothing and that remains our position. We have asked him to report for work and join the team in Mali,” Kamanga said.
And Kamanga has said FAZ will not pay Asanovic for the months he has been away from Zambia without official permission.
“It is immoral for him to get paid for not working. The local league started six weeks ago and he is supposed to be here (Zambia), not in Croatia. Qualifying for CHAN was a KPI and he failed and left without permission. We are waiting for him to come back,” Kamanga told the BBC.
However, Asanovic’s representative noted that apart from delaying to pay the coach his salaries since he was appointed as coach of the Chipolopolo, FAZ continuously violated contractual obligations.
It is alleged that the coach is owed over $40, 000 which includes a $25, 000 salary for August 2022.
Asanovic’s lawyers claimed that by August 3 FAZ owed the coach $75, 000 which was reduced to $41, 000 after the association paid $34, 000.
“We invite you to pay this monthly salary in a timely manner because otherwise coach Aljosa Asanovic will be forced to terminate the contract with you due to your nonpayment in accordance with the article 5 Annexe 2 of the FIFA regulation on the status and transfer of players,” read the letter form Asanovic’s representatives, Davor Radic, Attorney-at-law.
Meanwhile FAZ General Secretary Adrian Kashala noted that despite being without the head coach, the team has settled well in Bamako where 14 players that comprise seven locals and an equal number of foreign-based players are in camp.
Kashala said Asanovic has not yet reported for duty since Zambia’s 1-0 home loss to Mozambique on July 30.
He said local assistants led by Moses Sichone will oversee the Mali assignment as FAZ internally deals with the matter of the head coach.