Zambia FA to amend law on discrimination against sexual orientation18 November 2016

TheFootballAssociationofZambian(FAZ)haveproposedchangestotheirconstitutionondiscriminationbasedonsexualorientationtoputtheminlinewithFIFAstatutesthatsanctionhomophobicbehaviour.

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, brith or any other status, sexual orientation or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”

While the move is seen as a step forward in addressing homophobia in Zambian football and towards the acceptance of diversity, the federation could face legal contradictions with the country’s laws regarding homosexuality.

According to human rights organisation Amnesty International, Zambia is one of the 35 African nations where homosexuality is illegal. In 2014, the Zambian Minister of foreign affairs, Gabriel Namulambe, said the Government would not recognise gay citizens’ rights adding that homosexuality is an affront to Zambia as a Christian Nation.

Faz general secretary Ponga Liwewe has played down any potential issues with the proposal.

“The draft constitutions is in line with FIFA statutes and it is these that are up for discussion,” Liwewe said.

“It is the prerogative of FAZ members to agree or disagree with the statutes and to make recommendations that will be incorporated in the final document.”

In August, FIFA delegate Primo Corvaro conducted a workshop with FAZ officials on the constitucional amendments whereupon several clauses pertaining to the world governing body statutes were proposed for the new constitution.

Football - Brazil v Zambia - International Friendly - Beijing National Stadium, Beijing - 15/10/13 Zambia players walk out with mascots Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Liu Yang EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

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