Moses Mawere (Sports minister) has said Kalusha Bwalya betrayed Zambians by favouring foreign players ahead of national team Chipolopolo captain Rainford Kalaba.

Mr Bwalya placed Ugandan goalkeeper Dennis Onyango and Kharma Billiat of Zimbabwe whom he gave the majority of his votes as CAF executive committee member ahead of Kalaba during the vote for the CAF African-based player award held in Abuja, Nigeria last week.

Onyango subsequently won the award, ahead of Billiat and Zambia’s Kalaba.

In an interview, Mawere said Kalusha’s decision lacked morality especially that the nation had always supported him in his football career.

“It’s just the morality behind it. As minister I think what he did is betrayal to the entire country. If Morocco, Congo and others voted for Kalaba it means they know he is the best, but what does his own do? I think we have to be patriotic to our country,” Mr Mawere said.

“I have seen and head a few people trying to justify that decision, that ‘no he was professional, he has a right’…but there is no justification for that. Everyone who was there voted for their own, it shows that he has no regard for other Zambians. I would only urge Kalaba to soldier on, forgive and not trust some people because this is a clear case of betrayal.”

He also said he had received a number of calls from across the country complaining about Kalusha’s voting.

“Let Mr Kalusha find it in his heart to apologise to the Zambian people because Kalaba’s award was meant for Zambia. We have always stood for him when he wants to succeed and everyone expected him to do that for Kalaba and we are pushing for him to go to FIFA but now he has put us in an awkward position,” added Mawere.

“But I will still advocate that we support him for that position because we have to stand together as Kamanga goes to cast that vote in March at the congress. But I am not happy with what he did because we have to stand together in those times.”

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