League Games On for Liwewe

AFTER consultations with the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ), Government has decided to allow all MTN Premier Division Week Six League matches to proceed as scheduled today despite the national mourning for late legendary commentator, Dennis Liwewe.

Sports Minister, Chishimba Kambwili said by letting the games to go on was the best way of honouring Liwewe who apart from being a football commentator was an ardent fan.

Kambwili said during a Press briefing in Luanshya yesterday that Liwewe loved football, thus it was befitting to allow the league matches to be played across the nation today.

He, however, said all footballers and officials were expected to wear black arm bands during the matches and also observe a minute of silence in honour of Liwewe who would be put to rest in Lusaka today.

“You can’t talk about Zambian football without a mention of Liwewe. Liwewe loved football and the best way of sending him off is to allow league matches to go on,” the minister said.

Kambwili said Government had also permitted the university games to go on today but aised the players to wear black arm bands and also observe a minute of silence.

He said the university games would go ahead as the tertiary education institutions would be selecting a national team to represent Zambia on the international scene.

Kambwili also appealed to football enthusiasts to turn up in numbers to give Liwewe a befitting send off today during the burial.

“I appeal to the Chipolopolo Soccer Fans Association of Yotamu Mwanza and Peter Makembo’s Zambia Sports Fans Association to mobilise their members and attend the burial for Liwewe,” he added.

And First Republican president Kenneth Kaunda said youths in the country should benefit from what the legacy late Liwewe has left which is using art to build a nation and sport.

Kaunda said the late Liwewe lived an amazing life full of positive thinking and helped build the nation through the art of soccer and he was gifted and used his gift to the best in his lifetime.

“I hope that the young people of this country will benefit from what the young man stood for, it’s an amazing life, a life of positivity, a life of building through the art in soccer, the young Zambians today should gly uphold what Dennis has left for them,” Kaunda said.

Information Minister Joseph Katema said Government is making sure the name of the late Liwewe is kept going adding the passing on of legendary commentator was a big blow as Liwewe had built himself to be a father of the nation.

He said Liwewe had seen generations of players succeeding in their footballing career and mentoring them up to retirement.

“His passing on is a big loss not only to the family, but the nation. Who does not know Dennis, from the remotest village to the most urban places, in all generations we knew him and we loved him,” said Katema who is also Government spokesperson said.

Veteran sports administrator, Tom Mtine has described Liwewe as the firebrand that propelled Zambian football and whose works helped made the local game more attractive both at home and abroad.

“This is a big loss. Dennis Liwewe was a great man whom I shared a lot of sweet memories with. I was FAZ chairman and I went with him to many places and his addition to Zambian football was so immense. His voice brought more fans to the game whether in Zambia or abroad,” Mtine said.

Speaking from the funeral house in Lusaka, Mtine said Liwewe deserved a befitting honour that would need the input of all stakeholders including FAZ, Government and fans among others.

Lusaka Mayor Mulenga Sata said that Liwewe was a great man who helped in the development of Zambian football.

“We grew up listening to his voice and because of him, the interest in football grew. He worked so well in his lifetime such that he name is synonymous with some great moments in Zambian football. We shall definitely miss him. We as a council are open to suggestions of honouring him in any way possible, even if it means we consider naming a road after him,” Sata said.

Nchanga Rangers team manager Patrick Nkhata said Liwewe was every players great motivator , thanks to his colourful commentaries.

Nkhata , who also played at right wing for Nchanga from 1967 to 1983, described Liwewe as a true legend.

“No one would be in the national team if Dennis Liwewe had not mentioned you,” Nkhata said.

“Moreover Ucar batteries were sold out every time he mentioned them when describing Godfrey Chitalu. He was a great man and will be solely missed by all of us.”

Liwewe died on Tuesday after an ailment in Lusaka.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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