With the FBI and Swiss authorities bringing down the FIFA house on long standing corruption allegations that have seen seven officials arrested, the scandal is hitting closer to home with FAZ president Kalusha Bwalya reportedly stalling for time in Johannesburg.
Bwalya, who has been previously named as one of the officials that received bribes from former FIFA presidential candidate Mohammed Bin Hammam, allegedly fears that he may join the long list of those arrested with the net cast as wide as South Africa where three officials have also joined the list for their alleged corrupt role in the 2010 World Cup bid.
The FAZ chief, who is given to the ways of long serving FIFA president Sepp Blatter including seeking a long term tenure, was by now supposed to be in Zurich ahead of the elective congress but has developed cold feet in the wake of widespread arrests that has the list growing by the day.
Bwalya admitted to pocketing US$80, 000 dollars from the Qatari mega billionaire in exchange for votes and shamelessly told the local press that it was ‘inkongole’ (loan). This matter is a subject of a criminal investigation by the local but the toothless Anti Corruption Commission whose chairperson Rosewin Wandi has barely moved on the matter.
The arrests are largely hinged in the cash for bribes that have traditionally been the mainstay of FIFA elections although the world soccer governing body has maintained its innocence.
Some heads of associations have opted to send their deputies or other officials in the face of the arrests but Bwalya may not have had a plan B as he does not see eye to eye with his vice president Boniface Mwamelo.
FIFA is set to hold elections on Friday with Blatter almost certain to be re-elected to see out a fifth term in office.
Blatter may have no reason to save anyone’s skin given he has enough troubles of his own and has not shied from leaving erstwhile colleagues to hang as former vice president Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer may livingly testify.-ZAMBIAREPORTS