Soccer admin Henschel Chitembeya says Kalusha Bwalya did not vote for Rainford Kalaba because he is selfish and cannot allow another super star to emerge in Zambia.
During Last years 2016 CAF Award gala in Nigeria on January 5, Mr Bwalya did not give Kalaba the first vote in the race for the CAF award for Best African Player based in Africa.
According to details availed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Kalusha Bwalya gave his first vote worth five points to Zimbabwean Khama Billiat, while his second vote worth four points went to eventual winner Dennis Onyango with Kalaba getting three points from the immediate-past FAZ president.
According to the CAF rules, each national football association had carried a vote for everyone of the five finalists with the highest vote weighing five points.
Bwalya is member of the CAF panel of media experts as well as technical and development committee whose members carry a vote each equivalent to that of each member of CAF.
Kalaba, the Zambian skipper, made the final shortlist after helping Congolese giants TP Mazembe win the CAF Confederations Cup, scoring seven goals in as many matches.
Chitembeya, the former FAZ committee member, said Bwalya did not support Kalaba because he feared the emergence of another super-star would steal attention the country had been giving him.
“The reason Kalusha voted against Kalaba is that Kalusha thinks Zambia is too small to host two African footballers of the year; that is his thinking,” Chitembeya said.
“So he cannot allow another super-star in the country. It would reduce his super stardom. He looked at it that way. He would rather be the only African footballer of the year in Zambia. He did everything in his power to make sure that Kalaba was not given the footballer of the year [award]. I think those levels are a bit selfish. He always wants to be the only one at the very top; he’s selfish.”
He accused Bwalya of using his international connections for his personal benefit at the expense of the country.
“A lot of people made noise about FAZ not giving him a letter of nomination to [stand for election at the] FIFA [congress this year]. Now you see the kind of person you were clamoring for! In fact, now FAZ is not obliged to give him a vote at the forthcoming FIFA congress.”