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According to the FIFA Forward Global Report on development activities released by the world football governing body in December 2023, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) received US$9.1m through the Forward Development Programme from 2016 – 2022.

That amount represents 81.6 per cent of Zambia’s total allocation of US$11.1 million.The report indicated that the FAZ allocated US$3.3 million to national teams, US$1.6 million to administration and governance, and US$1.5 million to infrastructure development under two cycles of the programme: Fifa Forward 1.0 and Fifa Forward 2.0.

The FAZ also invested US$800,000.00 in women’s football and US$700,000.00 in competitions. The remaining funds were distributed as follows: US$600,000.00 for unused/football operating expenses, US$300,000.00 for capacity development, and US$300,000.00 for equipment and other expenses.

Fifa said it approved nine specific projects in Zambia ranging from infrastructure, competitions, and capacity development to national team support.Over US$1.5million was invested in relaying natural grass pitches, upgrading or rehabilitation of perimeter fences, dressing rooms, ticketing offices and ablution blocks of four stadia namely Independence Stadium in North Western Province, Kaole Stadium in Luapula, Kasama Stadium in Northern, David Kaunda in Eastern, in addition to a Technical/accommodation centre located in Lusaka.David Kaunda Stadium in Chipata, the first stadium to be completed under the project, was inaugurated on 23rd September 2023, in time to host an exhibition match between former national team players of Zambia and Malawi as part of the 2023 Independence Day celebrations.

Commenting on the inauguration of the David Kaunda Stadium, Fifa president Gianni Infantino said: “I am extremely pleased to share that the D.K. Stadium, which is located in the Chipata District of Zambia, was inaugurated yesterday. Reconstructed with the support of the FIFA Forward programme, this is great for football in Zambia and marks another milestone in FIFA’s objective of making football globally accessible without any barriers. Many thanks to the Football Association of Zambia, led by President Andrew Kamanga, and to the Minister of Youth, Sport and Arts, Elvis Nkandu, for your fantastic work in spreading the joy of our sport to the football-loving people of your country.”

The Fifa Forward Programme was also the source of the funds which helped the Zambia senior women’s national football team with their preparations ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The total approved amount for organising pre-tournament friendlies and participating in the Olympic football tournament was US$278,000.00.

Under its staff development programme, the FAZ used Fifa Forward funds to sponsor two senior managers to a two-year FIFA/CIES Executive Programme at the Nelson Mandela University in South Africa between 2019 and 2021, spending approximately US$300,000.00 in the process.

In summary, Zambia was one of the beneficiaries of the US$ 2.8 billion which FIFA had invested in its 211 member associations, as well as in the confederations and the various zonal/regional associations, to ensure the sustainable development of football for the long-term in their territories.

The Southern African nation will continue to be a beneficiary under the FIFA Forward 3.0 programme which rolled out on 1st January, 2023 and will run up to 31st December, 2026.

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