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Last Updated: Monday, 25 February 2008, 11:50 GMT
Faz presidency marred by racial abuse

By Kennedy Gondwe
BBC Sport, Lusaka

Hanif Adams, a candidate for the Faz Presidency
Adams has been a victim of racist abuse through the local media

The campaign for the Football Association of Zambia (Faz) presidency is being marred by racial slurs on one of the candidates.

Zambian legend Kalusha Bwalya, lawyer Anthony Kasolo and Hanif Adams, a businessman of Indian origin, are contesting the 29 March poll.

But there has been opposition to Adams' candidature in the local media on the basis of his race.

Individuals have argued that despite Adams being Zambian (he was born in eastern Zambia), Faz should not be run by foreigners.

One of them says: "For the sake of national pride and patriotism, Faz should be run by indigenous black Zambians and not Indians or Pakistanis."

Adams, who owns top flight club Lusaka Dynamos, admits he is disappointed with the remarks.

"I am very disappointed for people bringing race issues into matters of football or any matter concerning the development of any country," he told BBC Sport.

"I have never thought I was regarded as an Indian, I always believe I am a Zambian because I was born and bred here.

"I have never been to India since I was born 54 years ago."

"It hurts me when people say that," he added.

"For the last 29 years, I have developed indigenous Zambian players who are thriving because of my efforts."

Despite the attacks, Adams says he will not back down on his Faz ambition.

One of Adams' opponents, Anthony Kasolo, has condemned the racist remarks.

"Legally speaking, being indigenous is neither here nor there because we all came from different places," Kasolo said.

"It's being petty and it's unfortunate that a campaign should go that dirty."



SEE ALSO
Kalusha sets out his case
20 Feb 08 |  African


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