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Football association bans reporter from interviewing national team players

(MISA/IFEX) - On 23 January 2010, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) banned "The Post" newspaper reporter Kalumiana Kalumiana from talking to Zambian soccer team players at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.

The ban followed on the heels of an opinion article by Kalumiana criticising national team coach Herve Renard and skipper Christopher Katongo's reaction to the media after Zambia advanced to the quarter finals of the tournament for the first time in thirteen years.

FAZ Communications Officer Erick Mwanza, in a telephone interview from Angola, confirmed the development during a live phone-in programme on ZNBC. He said that the FAZ vice president and the delegation leader for the tournament were scheduled to issue a comprehensive statement.

Kalumiana told "The Post" that FAZ officials had warned him not to visit the team's hotel and that security officers have been instructed not to allow him to access the hotel.

Renard and Katongo are reported to have taken turns blasting Zambian journalists who are covering the Africa Cup of Nations. During a post match briefing after Zambia beat Gabon by two goals to one, the duo launched a verbal tirade against the journalists, accusing them of being too critical and unsupportive of the team.

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