Sunday Jun 27, 2021. 22:00
Nkana on Sunday survived the drop on the final day of the 2020/2021 FAZ Super League season but their survival took a couple of intriguing twists and turns heading into fulltime both on and off the pitch.
The record 13-time Zambian champions drew 0-0 away at relegated Napsa Stars in Lusaka in a game both sides also finished with ten men in the dying minutes when Ackim Mumba for the visitors and Daniel Obeng both received second yellow cards.
However, that draw result did not complete Nkana’s relegation equation and they needed Kabwe Warriors to beat their guests Indeni to confirm their survival.
Warriors delivered on that with a 3-2 home win over Indeni.
That result meant Nkana and Indeni exchanged places to finish on 42 and 41 points respectively to see the Kitwe side secure their FAZ Super League stay and the latter go down.
However, the drama didn’t end there and Nkana got an extra lifeline with a boardroom decision at the eleventh hour going their way.
News filtered through before fulltime that Nkana had won an appeal against Young Green Eagles who had fielded an ineligible player in the Kitwe sides’ 3-2 away loss on June 12 in Kafue.
Unused Young Eagles goalkeeper Philip Phiri was ineligible for that game due to a red card suspension.
But Young Eagles indicated that they got a waiver to use the third-choice goalkeeper because they were short-staffed as first-choice Gregory Sanjase was away on Chipolopolo duty during that period.
“The above case was tabled before the player status committee on Friday June 25 2021,” FAZ General Secretary Adrian Kashala said in a statement dated June 27, 2021.
“The Player Status Committee has considered the evidence presented and ruled that Nkana’s complaint has merit and it has been accepted. The Committee has made the following decision: That the Committee has overturned the outcome of the game by directing that three (3) points be awarded to Nkana with a three-nil (3-0) score line.”
The verdict means Young Eagles will be relegated instead of Indeni on 40 points after the ruling while Nkana get a boost on 45 points from 42 points.
But Young Eagles have been given 14 days in which to appeal the verdict.