Zambia FA may face legal conflict over anti-discrimination proposals


November 18, 2016 By Sahr Morris Jnr

 The Football Association of Zambia (Faz) has proposed changes to its constitution which contradict the country’s laws regarding homosexuality.

Zambia forbids homosexuality and can pass a jail sentence of up to 15 years.

But Faz is undertaking a constitutional review aimed at upgrading its statutes to put them in line with football’s world governing body Fifa.

Fifa prohibits discrimination against sexual orientation and can suspend or expel offenders from football.

A draft constitution circulated by Faz reads: “Discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, wealth, birth or any other status, sexual orientation or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”

While that is precisely in line with the statutes of Fifa, should Faz’s members adopt the sexual orientation clause it would put the association in conflict with the country’s legal constitution.

According to human rights organisation Amnesty, Zambia is one of 35 African nations where homosexuality is illegal.

Faz general secretary Ponga Liwewe played down any potential issues with his association’s proposals – despite a widely held conservative view in the country in line with the legal position on homosexuality.

He told BBC Sport: “We have to debate the statues with our members. We took the Fifa document and we cannot pick and choose which elements we want to work with.

“We have presented this to our members and they have the option to point out issues – and we also have to consider what our national law says.